ROCKFORD — Law enforcement officials in Mercer County are looking for a person of interest in connection with the shooting death of a Rockford woman Thursday morning.
Mercer County Dispatchers received a phone call at approximately 10:43 a.m. Thursday reporting a shooting on West North Street in Rockford. Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey said law enforcement officials arrived on the scene shortly after the call.
"We have a female victim who died of what appears to be a gun shot wound," Grey told local media gathered near the scene of the crime. "Currently, no one is in custody and we are still in the process of doing the investigation. We have detectives back at the sheriff's office who are interviewing a witness to try to get more information ... We do have a person who we are interested in locating — I'm not prepared to call him a suspect at this point."
The Rockford Police Department asked Grey's office to assist in the investigation. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation was called in to help process the crime scene.
Grey declined to reveal if the shooting was the result of a domestic situation involving the victim and the person of interest. Rockford Police Chief Paul May told The Evening Leader the two were dating and were not married.
"We are in the very initial stages," Grey said. "Her body was inside the residence and it's still there."
Grey declined to release the name of the victim or her age. He also declined to release the name of the person of interest or description of any vehicle he may be driving.
"I don't believe that there is any concern for people in the neighborhood," Grey said. "We don't have somebody on the loose who is out and broke into the house or anything. It was an acquaintance we are looking for now. They knew each other well."
Grey said the victim and person of interest had "been together for a while." May said he was unaware if there were any witnesses to the actual shooting.
"Right now, we've got some speculation that has occurred," Grey said. "But until we actually get in the house — we've secured a search warrant to go into the house — and see for sure what we have, I don't want to speculate what happened."
May said there has never been a murder in Rockford, a village of 1,120 residents. The death would be the third murder in Mercer County in less than a year. Robert Grube and his daughter Colleen Grube were murdered in a rural Fort Recovery residence on Nov. 30, 2011. That case remains unsolved at this time.
Grey has called a news conference for 9 a.m. Friday to further discuss the Rockford shooting.