An elderly man was found dead in his Cincinnati home after three suspects, one of whom he had helped in the past, allegedly robbed him and beat him to death.
The incident took place on March 14. Police said James T. Kirby Jr., 22, and Mario Demarcus Lewis, 26, broke into 73-year-old Carl Engel’s home. Chasidy Nicole Brewer, 20, acted as lookout across the street, WLWT reports.
The two men reportedly broke into Engel's front basement window and were searching the home for cash and valuables when the elderly man interrupted them when he returned home.
Kirby then assaulted Engel from the top of the stairs and into the kitchen, the Daily Mail reports.
A neighbor called police on March 15 after noticing that the basement window was broken. When police arrived, they found Engel dead with multiple blows to his head and his body.
All three suspects were arrested on March 18. They all have criminal histories and are being held at Hamilton County Jail on $1.25 million bail each.
Kirby has been charged with aggravated burglary, aggravated murder and tampering with evidence.
Police believe Kirby and Engel knew each other and that Engel had helped the younger man in the past.
Neighbors described Engel as an honest and generous man who would help anyone in need.
“His family has been in St. Bernard for years,” Nancy Evans told WCPO, referring to the St. Bernard neighborhood. “I think he was born and raised in St. Bernard. It’s scary. Yep, it’s unreal.”
Other neighbors saw the incident as a wake up call to increase security in the neighborhood.
“It ain’t no good. That means we got to watch this neighborhood better,” said Darryl, another local resident. “I’ll definitely make it my business to get out my dogs more and watch.”
Bill Ungruhe of the St. Bernard police assured residents that the attack was not a random occurrence and that they should not be worried. He also spoke highly of the victim.
“That was Carl. He’s a rough guy,” Ungruhe said. “His friends were his friends and he had a kind heart trying to help people.”
Engel had worked for the village’s service department for more than 30 years. He has a son, a daughter and two grandchildren.
The morning after the arrests were made, Engel’s son released a statement to WLWT:
"In addition to the terror and pain that this inflicted on a compassionate and loving man, this act has caused anguish for his entire family: children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews. There are now two young children who will never get to know their Grandpa."