By Wayne Gates –
The Brittany Stykes murder case is getting a fresh look and new resources.
The investigation was discussed at a joint press conference on January 10 with Brown County Prosecuting Attorney Zac Corbin, Brown County Sheriff Gordon Ellis and Special Agent Seth Hagaman of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
“For the last three and a half years, this case has plagued this community and law enforcement within the community, but most of all, it’s plagued Brittany’s family,” said Corbin.
“There is nothing that I would like to see or place a higher priority on than resolving this case for Brittany’s family and for the Brown County community.”
Stykes was shot as she drove north on Highway 68 just south of Georgetown in August of 2013. She and her unborn baby died in the attack. Her toddler daughter Aubree was also injured by a bullet wound to the head, but has recovered.
Ellis described the changes in the case at the local level.
“The best way to move forward is to assign the case to John Burke of the Brown County Drug and Major Crimes Task Force. Commander Burke has a wealth of experience in homicide investigations. The other thing that we have done at the Brown County Sheriff’s Office is to apply whatever resources are necessary to move this case to a successful conclusion,” Ellis said.
“The bottom line is we understand that we have a grieving family here that has lost a loved one. We are going to do our absolute best to ensure that we give them closure in this case.”
Hagaman said that his agency was ready to help in any way it can.
“We are here to partner with the prosecutor and the sheriff’s office to ensure that all leads are followed and that this is a thorough and complete investigation.”
Corbin said that all concerned share the same determination to solve the case.
“We are not going to let a lack of resources be an impediment to bringing justice in this case. BCI, The Brown County Sheriff’s Office and the Brown County Prosecutor’s Office are going to work together and put forth all the manpower and resources that we possibly can to get this case solved.”
Commander John Burke of Brown County Drug and Major Crimes Task Force, will lead the investigation on the local level.
Burke has nearly 40 years of law enforcement experience, including homicide investigations. Ellis has given him access to the investigative unit of the sheriff’s office as the case moves forward.
Mary and David Dodson, Brittany’s parents, also addressed the media.
Mary Dodson said that the renewed attention to the case is helpful to her and her family.
“It gave me some hope. With everyone here and with everyone talking about Brittany and her baby and showing that they care,” Dodson said.
“The community has supported us through all of this, by stopping by, seeing her picture on the front of the house, sending cards and everything. So it’s not just our family. The community needs this. We all need this. My daughter needs not to have died in vain.”
She also said that her family was encouraged by the experience and commitment of Burke, Corbin and Ellis and were anxious for all of them to take office.
“We couldn’t wait for the new year. Hopefully we’ll get our justice, Brittany and the baby will get their justice and the community will get a better future,” Mary Dodson said.
“Whoever did this took something that was not their’s to take. They need to step forward and they need to pay for what they’ve done…We are never going to have closure. Brittany is never coming back. But we need some kind of peace. Our family is not at peace. We have faith in the Lord. The Lord moves mountains.”
David Dodson is also hopeful.
“I’ve sat down with the new sheriff and we’ve had discussions. This is a new start in this case. It’s been very hard on us, but on a positive note, I feel that they are working a little more together. There is a chance of this being solved,” he said.
An appeal to the public for information in the case was also made by the investigators.
“This is a case that cries out for justice. So if you know something, please contact us. We want to bring closure to this family,” Ellis said.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 888-352-3040 or text “CINTIP” plus your tip to CRIMES (274637). Tips can also be sent to Crime Stoppers online at http://crime-stoppers.us/submit-a-tip/.