Union County Man Accused Of Killing Bedridden Wife With Pills


UPDATED: Wednesday July 23, 2014 11:36 PM

A Union County man is now behind bars, charged with murdering his bedridden wife.

After a 10-month investigation, investigators determined Jon Costell murdered his wife, Debra.

It happened in September of 2013 in their Milford Center apartment at 25 S. Mill Street.

Deputies arrested Costell Tuesday and he was arraigned Wednesday.

The Costells' apartment is quiet now, but what may have happened behind its doors and windows is starting to come to light.

"He started messing with her then I would come around and he wouldn't," said Ernie Jones, a former friend of the couple.

Jones said he knew Debra had been abused by Jon in the past.

"Oh yeah," he said. "She told me."

Court records show Jon Costell had faced domestic violence charges twice in 1998 and once in 2002.

When Jones found out his former friend was charged with murder this week and arrested Tuesday, he had one reaction.

"It didn't surprise me," he said.

Investigators said Costell killed his wife using a combination of two prescription drugs: the anti-depressant Sertraline and the pain-killer Tramadol.

"Our investigation shows that Debra was a burden to him," said Captain Jeff Frisch with the Union County Sheriff's Office.

Frisch says Debra had been suffering from several ailments before she was killed.

"She had COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), she had diabetes, she was bedridden," he said. "She was not able to bear any weight on her legs at all."

Now Costell faces one count of aggravated murder, one count of involuntary manslaughter, one count of failing to provide for a functionally impaired person and one count of domestic violence.

The Union County Sheriff's Office said the county coroner and the Ohio Department of Medicaid assisted in the investigation.

Costell is due back in court on August 8th.

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