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Klusch family offers reward

May 3, 2012

LISBON - Stating it was more about justice this time, the widow of murder victim Gerald George Klusch once again stood in front of television cameras and the media Wednesday to offer a reward.

It has been more than seven months since the disappearance of Klusch.

Leah Klusch said the case is still much on the minds of his family and friends, leading to a $20,000 reward being offered. This time the reward is for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for her husband's death.

Klusch, 71, U.S. Route 30, Lisbon, was last seen on Sept. 29 by an employee, Matt Bailey. His pickup was found the next day with blood inside the back, but no sign of Klusch.

Leah Klusch said it was a normal day. She had breakfast with her husband and left for work. He interacted with his son and his daughter. The last time they saw him he was on the farm.

"There was no indications there was anything different," Leah Klusch said. "He was a very quiet man. He had very structured routines."

This is the second time the Klusch family has offered a reward. On Nov. 15, the family offered $20,000 to anyone who provided information allowing the family to find his body.

His body was found three days later, about seven weeks after he disappeared. He was found in a wooded area off Hazel Run Road near Salineville. His clothes, wallet, identification and credit cards were found near the body. He was found as investigators followed up on leads they already had before the reward was offered.

Leah Klusch said Wednesday the committee is still considering whether or not the initial reward will be given. The committee is made up of a member of the family, a member of the investigating team and the family's legal adviser. The same group will also determine if anyone qualifies for the current reward.

Gerald Klusch's death was officially ruled a homicide in late January. Two gunshot wounds to the head from an undetermined range was listed as the cause of death.

Sheriff Raymond Stone and Detective Lt. Andy Sweeney said Wednesday leads continue to come in and they continue to follow up on them.

"This one is taking more time (than most)," Stone said. "There were no witnesses who saw what happened so there is no solid evidence."

Although Klusch was missing for the first two months, Sweeney said they have been investigating it as they would a homicide from early on.

Leah Klusch reiterated several times during the press conference they are hoping to keep her husband's case in the forefront of people's minds, hoping someone will remember something and be able to come forward with even a little bit of information.

There have been indications about how difficult Klusch's death has been for the family. Leah Klusch has filed for protective custody of her adult daughter, Katie, in probate court, where the case indicates she has been having issues brought on by the murder of her father.

"Jerry and I were married for 45 years," Leah Klusch said. "He was my best friend. Ryan (their son) was in business with him and Katie had a great relationship with him. We all had a positive relationship with him. We're all dealing with the grief differently. I just hope somebody remembers something."



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