‘Person Of Interest’ In Double Homicide Indicted For Grand Theft

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A Knox County man arrested on Sunday in connection to the deaths of his mother and girlfriend has been indicted on a felony count of grand theft.  The Knox County Grand Jury handed down the indictments Monday against 32-year-old Travis Bonham. 

Bonham was wanted for questioning in the shooting deaths of 50-year-old Sandra Stelk and Jaime Barber, 23. Their bodies were found at Stelk’s home on the 18000 block of Coshocton Road just before 9:30 a.m. last Wednesday in Mount Vernon.  Both Stelk and Barber died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Authorities say video surveillance revealed Bonham was driving Stelk’s 2011 black Dodge Charger the night of the homicides.   The vehicle was recovered days later in Reynoldsburg.

On Sunday, Bonham was apprehended in Licking County on State Route 62 just east of Lafayette Road.  A Mount Vernon police officer followed a vehicle after he noticed the male passenger appeared to have numerous tattoos, pulled up his hood and attempted to avoid him.

With the help of Licking County and Knox County deputies, the vehicle was stopped and Bonham was arrested without incident.

The driver of the vehicle, 29-year-old Ashli Price, was also arrested and may face additional charges.

Knox County Prosecuting Attorney Chip McConville says the investigation of the deaths of Stelk and Barber remains under investigation, and additional charges are likely. 

 

A mix of fear, relief

Family members of both murder victims say they are mixed with relief and continued fear after the arrested of Travis Bonham.

Sandra Stelk’s husband didn’t mince words when speaking to 10TV about his stepson.  “As far as I’m concerned, he can rot (in jail,)” said Dave Stelk.  “I have absolutely no feeling for that guy – none.”

Dave Stelk stepped away from his wife's funeral to make clear, as grief-stricken as he feels for his wife's sudden death, he feels enormous relief that Bonham was arrested.

Now, all of Sandra Stelk's family is thanking the Mount Vernon officer who took down the man who's been on the run for five days.

Patrolman David McElroy said as he passed the van and instantly had a gut feeling.  He made a U-turn and tailed the van for miles.

“(Travis) was hunched over and when they knew I was behind them, he put his hood up,” explained McElroy.  “At that point in time, emotions are going (and) I was thinking this is probably our guy.”

McElroy continued "of course you're proud of yourself, but mostly you're happy for the family and that's what we're here for; the family."

Families of both Sandra Stelk's and Jaime Barber are hoping to meet all of the arresting officers in person to thank them.