3 years later, no one charged in gruesome Salem murder

columbiana county ohio murder cold case
A photo of Mindy Todd before her death

SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – Eight year-old Cole Reed looks like any other second grader. But his experiences are far from normal.

Three years ago, Cole was savagely beaten inside his home near Salem, where he lived with his maternal grandmother, Melinda Todd. Todd was killed, and authorities say both had been attacked with a hammer, although their injuries were so bad, it looked like a shooting scene.

Cole, now 8, survived the harrowing ordeal, but has had three brain surgeries, months of physical therapy, and he still goes to counseling twice a month for his nightmares.

His step-grandfather and adoptive father, Elmer Milson, said he is lucky that Cole survived.

Cole Reed, now 8, still has nightmares from an attack which left him with injuries and his grandmother killed. The family is still searching for answers, three years after the woman's death.
Cole Reed, now 8, still has nightmares from an attack which left him with injuries and his grandmother killed. The family is still searching for answers, three years after the woman’s death.

“He’s a great kid. He strives. For what happened to him, we’re blessed with him,” he said.

Milson adopted Cole after both of his biological parents were sent to prison. His mother, Miranda, was convicted of killing one of her other children prior to Melinda Todd’s death and is serving 18 years to life in prison.

“Cole knows we love him, and it’s the first stable family Cole’s ever had his whole life,” Milson said.

He described the terrifying scene on the day of the murder — on Dec. 3, 2012.

“It was like something was massacred in the house. It was on the walls, the ceiling,” he said.

Milson is holding out hope that the case will be solved, although he said he is not pleased with the investigation thus far.

“You know, they need to get their act together,” he said. “There’s too many unsolved cases in Columbia County, and it’s just not right. It’s not right at all.”

Although Columbiana County Sheriff’s detectives said they do have a person of interest in the case, no arrests have been made. They said the believe the incident was drug-related.

Columbiana County Sheriff Ray Stone said investigations such as these take awhile. He said his staff turned the case over to prosecutors some time ago, and when nothing happened, he asked agents with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations to take another look.

“At this time, they tell us that we did not miss anything,” he said.

Stone says detectives resubmitted their files about a month ago but still haven’t heard anything from Prosecutor Bob Herron or his staff. He said he hoped for an indictment by now.

“It’s frustrating for us and our detectives, and the whole office, because they put a lot of man-hours into investigating every little lead that comes in,” he said.

Repeated calls to Herron’s office were not returned Thursday.

In the meantime, Cole’s family waits for justice.

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s