YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The U.S. Air Force has asked the city police department to reexamine an unsolved 1975 homicide of an Airman who was on leave.
The Office of Special Investigations has asked about the June 7, 1975, shooting death of Chester Steele Jr., 20, who died after being shot about midnight on Wilmette Lane on the East Side.
Steele was in town to attend the graduation party of his brother when he was shot.
Youngstown police Capt. Jason Simon said the request from the OSI came after a relative of Steele’s asked the Air Force if they had any information on the case. A former city police officer who now works in federal law enforcement was a liaison between police and the Air Force.
Steele was stationed at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey and was home for the weekend to attend the party of his brother, who had graduated from East High School.
A report from The Vindicator said Steele had received a telephone call about 11:30 p.m., then went outside and was in the street talking to a man when he was shot in the throat.
The man walked over to a nearby car that had three other males inside and drove away, the newspaper said. A Warren man gave first aid to Steele while another person followed the car through Campbell to a house on Center Street, where police were called.
Steele was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center by ambulance but died there.
The newspaper said the occupants of the car were taken into custody on “open charges.”
Simon said an 18-year-old and three juveniles were arrested for the crime, but they were later released. No charges were ever filed for Steele’s death.
Detectives will first look at the old case files and notes to see how the original investigation played out, Simon said. He said after that, they will look for anyone who may have lived on Wilmette Lane at the time or had business there.
Simon said investigators will also look for any friends of Steele to see if they can shed light on the case.
This story is part of a series of cold cases that WKBN is examining.
Anyone with information can call the Detective Bureau at 330-742-8911.