A Kentucky man is under arrest for a cold case murder of an elderly woman in Ohio. Daniel French, 56, was picked up in Rockcastle County on Wednesday.
By Wednesday night, French was being held at the Rockcastle County Detention Center, charged with killing 86-year old Barbara Howe. It’s an arrest her family said they have long awaited for.
“I knew at some point, something would happen, it had to. So, I really didn’t give up hope,” said Howe’s daughter Donna Wesselman.
For Wesselman, hope got her through the two long years after her mother disappeared in 2012 while leaving a retirement center in Monroe, Ohio. Four days later Howe was found dead in the trunk of her car.
“There was that terrible fear that it would be like one of those cases where 10 years go by and I just couldn’t go there,” said Wesselman.
Therefor, she put her faith in Police. Then on Wednesday a grand jury indicted French. Kentucky State Police said he’s been living with his sister near the Rockcastle-Madison County line.
“When we arrived at the residence on Flat Gap Road in Rockcastle County, the suspect was inside the home and arrested without incident,” said Trooper Lloyd Cochran.
“There was police cars over there and I didn’t know what was going on. I heard it was a murderer,” said Herman Brockman. He lives next door to the home where French was staying.
Brockman said French had always been a nice quiet man, so this arrest was unexpected. “It’s kind of a shock to us,” said Brockman.
The crime itself was a shock to investigators in Ohio. The Butler County Prosecutor said “The shear brutality and diabolical nature of this case is unparalleled in the history of Butler County.”
French is charged with aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse. The long list of crimes also includes murder with the possibility of the death penalty.
“If he is guilty, I hope he gets the max,” said Brockman.
“It’s just putting this person behind bars and know he’s not going anywhere,” said Wesselman.
Kentucky State Police said French will be in court in Rockcastle County on Monday. If he waives extradition, investigators said he will likely go back to Ohio in the near future.
LEX 18 News asked if French or his family wanted to say anything about the case, however they declined.