WELLSVILLE (WKBN) — When Steve Roberts saw the body of his brother in a funeral home, he literally started going blind.
Roberts, who is legally blind because of a medical condition, said stress accelerated the process for his disease, and nothing was more stressful than living through the Aug. 26, 2002 murder of his brother, Craig Roberts.
It happened at a 502 Wells Hollow Road home.
The case is featured on the state attorney general’s website under cold cases. It is one of six cases dating back to 1999 on the website from Columbiana County.
Overall, the website has over 1,800 unsolved homicides from across the state over a period of several years.
Roberts has not given up hoping that the killer of his brother can someday be found.
His brother worked in heavy construction and traveled to the Lake Erie region frequently, Roberts said. He said they would talk daily when he drove to work, long talks that often lasted the entire length of his brother’s ride.
When he received the call that his brother had been shot, Roberts said he had no idea it would turn into a homicide.
“I thought it was an accident,” Roberts said.
Roberts said he had his own thoughts on his brother’s murder, but he never thought his brother killed himself, as he said he was initially told. Craig Roberts died of a gunshot wound to the head.
Wellsville Police Chief Ed Wilson referred a request for comment to the Columbiana County Prosecutor’s Office.
John Gamble, an assistant Columbiana County prosecutor, said there are several suspects because a lot of people were around when Roberts was killed, but police have never been able to get enough evidence to get an indictment.
“There was a household of suspects,” Gamble said.
Gamble said some of the answers those people gave authorities when they were questioned did not match up with how Roberts ended up dead.
Gamble said the case has not been forgotten and it has been examined at different times over the years.
“The file has remained in our office and it is one of the largest cold files that we have,” Gamble said.
Gamble said he still hopes that he can find enough evidence to take the case to a grand jury and get an indictment.
Roberts said his brother excelled as a mechanic and he built his own dune buggies. He was known as the “King Of The Dune Buggies,” Roberts said.
He was very gifted at fixing things and left high school without graduating because he was so good with his hands, Roberts said.
“He never graduated high school, but he’s the smartest man I ever knew,” Roberts said. “He was the greatest welder I ever saw.”
Anyone with information can contact the Columbiana County Prosecutor’s Office at 330-402-0140.
This story is part of a series of cold cases that WKBN is examining.
Do you have a cold case that you’d like us to look into further? Submit a cold case to WKBN.