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April 5, 2020

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“Human trafficking is real and in our area”

Statement from Hardin County Sheriff Keith Everhart

Here’s a statement from Sheriff Keith Everhart about being suspicious and and asking residents to be alert to human trafficking:

“Folks, Hardin County experienced something this past week that makes me ill. A local business in the county had a man who was a truck driver stop in to purchase food. The man asked a lot of very inquisitive questions in regards to who everyone was at the establishment.

“He also wanted assistance carrying the food to his truck. Now mind you, nothing he did was illegal; however, it does seem suspicious when it comes to human trafficking. Folks I cannot tell you enough that human trafficking is real and in our area.

Body of Hugh Ries discovered in crawl space

Sunday afternoon fire near Alger

The search for the missing person believed to have been entrapped in his burning home at 0529 Hardin County Road 80 has concluded with the discovery of his body in the badly-burned structure, according to the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office.

The body of Hugh Ries, 65, was discovered at approximately 2:15 p.m. on Monday in a crawl space beneath rubble of the collapsed kitchen.

Hardin County 911 Dispatch received a report at 4:21 p.m. on Sunday of a fire and possible entrapment at the Alger address. Mr. Rise was the only person known to be at home at the time.

Ada-Liberty Township fire-EMS called to Alger house fire

Whereabouts of resident is unknown

The Ada-Liberty Township Fire and EMS was called to a two-alarm fire that destroyed the residence of Hugh and Eilma Reis, 0532 Hardin County Road 80 on Sunday evening.

Hardin County dispatch received a call at approxiimately 4:21 p.m. on Sunday. The call reported fire and heavy smoke coming from the house. The caller mentioned that someone may be entrapped.

According to the sheriff's office Mr. Reis is the only persons believed to be in the houseB at the time of the fire. Earlier this morning he had not be located and his whereabouts were unknown.

Applications available for Citizen Sheriff’s Academy

This year’s Citizen Sheriff’s Academy is slated for March 8-April 26 with weekly meetings held on Thursdays from 6-8:30 pm. The Academy is designed to provide a working knowledge of the Hardin County sheriff’s office.

Academy instructors will explain and demonstrate the various aspects of the sheriff’s responsibilities using classroom discussions and hands-on participation.

Those 18 years old or older may apply at the sheriff’s office beginning Feb. 14. Cost is $30. For more information, call Chief Deputy Dennis Burns at 419- 673-1268 Ext. 2144.

Accident at SR 235 and 309

Phillip Barttels, 79, off Ada was taken by LifeFlight to St. Rita’s Hospital following an accident at SR 235 and 309 on Wednesday afternoon. The hospital staff labeled his condition as stable on Thursday evening.

The Sheriff’s department reported that Battels was driving a 2013 Ford Fusion north on SR 235 when the driver lost control, struck the guardrail of a bridge, began to roll, and landed in a nearby creek. Battels was extricated from the vehicle and flown to the Lima hospital.

The crash remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office.

Large amount of meth and lab seized near Roundhead

The Hardin County Crime Task Force served a search warrant Wednesday after a lengthy investigation into the illegal sale of narcotics.  The address of the search warrant was 16925 Twp Rd 39 in Roundhead Township. 


Upon searching the location an active meth lab was discovered, rendered safe and dismantled. The Task Force also seized 360 grams of crystal methamphetamine with a street value of over $10,000.


There was also marijuana and heroin seized along with other drug paraphernalia and scales used in the sale of illegal narcotics.