Group Home Concerns Grow After Death Of Jogger


UPDATED: Friday November 1, 2013 5:43 PM

A group home in Westerville has the attention of police. It has the same operator as a group home in Blendon Township where resident Jordan Stewart is facing murder charges.

“We’ve had several calls there, a lot of missing persons, disturbances,” said Lt. Tracey Myers.

It’s a group home for teenagers.

“I would not speak of children as wayward. These are children who have been abused or neglected,” said Deb Armstrong.

The children have ended up in the system. Paperwork shows they have had violence episodes within the walls that house them.

In this case, a ward of Franklin County Children’s Services grabbed a fire extinguisher and attempted to hit staffers with it. He then bit them, breaking the skin.

Another report states that Westerville Police officers had been to the home 17 times in four months “in regards to one resident’s unruly behavior or the times he’s run away.”

When a child leaves against orders, group homes have to involve police.

The same is true in Whitehall.

“This is more than 100 pages on one location (in one year),” said Patrolman Mark Showalter.

Kids going AWOL fueled the vast majority of Whitehall’s 704 visits to a group home there.

Patrolman Mark Showalter says that drains police resources.

“Who knows what these kids are doing when they're not under supervision,” added Showalter.

Some of the teens who go AWOL may be in your neighborhood and they may have backgrounds before they even go into a home.

10 Investigates found everything from gross sexual imposition to arson and assault to breaking and entering.

In Blendon Township, where police say group home resident Jordan Stewart stabbed jogger Jane Juergen’s to death, residents have been loud and clear – they want change.

Representative Anne Gonzales is working on legislation that was started last year. Residents want emergency plans for group homes.

“We put it on hold because we were told by the Ohio Department of Job and Family services that these plans would be filed with local law enforcement agencies.

Gonzales says those plans have not been filed.

The group homes operator provided this statement on Friday afternoon.

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