With a new sheriff, prosecutor and lead investigator, Brown County officials are renewing efforts and an appeal to the public for information to solve the 2013 shooting that left a pregnant mom dead and her young daughter injured along U.S. Route 68.
On Tuesday morning representatives of the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, the Brown County Prosecutor’s Office, the Brown County Drug and Major Crimes Task Force, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and Crime Stoppers participated in a press conference in regard to the ongoing investigation into the August 2013 shooting death of Brittany Stykes.
As previously reported, the 22-year-old Stykes was found shot to death in her vehicle along U.S. 68 in Ripley in a wooded area between SR 125 and Laycock Road on Aug. 28, 2013. She was 17 weeks pregnant. Stykes’ then-14-month-old daughter, Aubree, was found alive, but with a gunshot wound to her head. The little girl survived.
Brown County Sheriff Gordon Ellis, who is in the second week of his term as sheriff, later on Tuesday said that when he was coming into office he was “thoroughly briefed” on the investigation, as was incoming Brown County Prosecutor Zac Corbin.
Ellis on Tuesday outlined the steps the county and investigators are taking to ensure the case moves forward.
Cmdr. John Burke of the Brown County Drug and Major Crimes Task Force has been appointed as the primary “point of contact” in the investigation. Ellis said the commander is a retired Hamilton County homicide investigator and “brings a wealth of experience” with him. Also working with the sheriff’s office on the investigation is Corbin’s office and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
In Tuesday’s press conference, Ellis said that the county has applied additional resources to the case, “whatever is necessary to move this case to a successful conclusion.”
“We want to ensure that there are no resources lacking at the county level,” Ellis said later on Tuesday, adding that his office will proceed “with a focus to try to move forward with this.”
The sheriff said he knew that solving the case wouldn’t bring Stykes back, but it would bring much-needed closure to her family. “We are working very hard to bring resolution to this family,” he said.
During the press conference Ellis said, “This is a case that cries out for justice.”
“We need the public,” Corbin said in the press conference. “There is somebody out there that knows what happened to Brittany.”
Anyone with information is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040. Tipsters remain anonymous. People can also contact the Brown County Sheriff’s Office with information by calling 937-378-4435.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.