The Ohio State University Alumni Association recently sent a letter to alumni asking for information about a decade-old arson that left five young adults dead.
Two OSU students, Alan Schlessman and Kyle Raulin, were killed. Three Ohio University students, Erin DeMarco, Andrea Dennis and Christine Wilson, also died in the April 13, 2003 fire on East 17th Avenue.
OSU Alumni President Archie Griffin said that the university has never sent a letter like this before.
“We knew the message had to get to alumni, who were on campus at that time, so we geared it toward the alumni that were here between 2003 and 2007,” Griffin said.
Cold case detectives say the letter has worked.
They’ve received calls from nearly a dozen people who remember what happened on that April day.
“Several of those people had gone to the party the night of the fire, but never were interviewed,” said Det. Dana Farbacher. “They were there at different stages of the party, it sounds like and in-and-out type of thing.”
Farbacher said the new tips and efforts by OSU will only help bring the case one step closer to getting solved.
Griffin said he hopes that is the case, too.
“If it will help solve a case that happened at Ohio State University, then we felt that it was the right thing to do,” Griffin said. “The university lost two young, brilliant students, and so did Ohio University, they lost three.”
Ohio State officials say they have 500,000 alumni around the world and that roughly 40,000 people received the message.
Anyone who has information about the arson is asked to call Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-TIPS.
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April 13, 2013: New Development In 2003 Campus-Area Fatal Arson