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 1996 Mohney,Robert S. 7-18-1996, Westerville
Posted: Feb 12 2007, 12:23 AM

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1996 Missing Person Gets Attention From Philanthropist
Man Last Seen At Home In July 1996

POSTED: 6:24 pm EDT October 21, 2005
UPDATED: 7:38 pm EDT October 21, 2005

WESTERVILLE, Ohio -- An unsolved mystery is getting some new attention after haunting detectives for years.

A 29-year-old construction worker was last seen in July of 1996. He has never been found, but police believe he's a victim of foul play, NBC 4's Holly Hollingsworth reported.

That man, Rob Mohney, left his home one evening and was never seen again. Now, police and Central Ohio Crime Stoppers are working with a Philadelphia man who has offered huge cash rewards in other local and international cases.

Watch The Report

Police said Friday that they are trying to secure a major reward in hopes of enticing people to talk.

Westerville police detectives said they haven't forgotten about Mohney in the nine years since he vanished.

He was a reliable worker, employed by a construction company, Hollingsworth reported.

"One day at work, he just didn't show up anymore, so his wife and his friends got concerned. So, they called us and let us know that something was really wrong that Rob didn't show up to work," said Detective Dave King, of Westerville police.

The Central College Road home where Mohney lived has since been torn down. In 1996, Mohney's roommate told police that on the night he disappeared, Mohney had made himself a steak dinner.

For some reason, during the middle of his meal, he got up and left his home. His roommate said it was unusual for Mohney to interrupt his meal.

"He wouldn't answer the phone. He wouldn't answer the door. That was kind of his time. He was going to sit down and finish his meal," King said. "So, it was real unusual and (to) his friends, that was the key. What would make him leave so soon?"

Mohney's car was found a day later at Hoover Reservoir, but he was never seen again.

Police said they have a suspect, but need more information. That's why they approached Crime Stoppers and reward benefactor Joe Mammana.

"We're hoping that enough money is put out there that it's going to get those last pieces of information … and help us put this to rest," King said.

Mammana is considering making a $100,000 reward available. Detectives believe that money would light up a pathway, identifying Mohney's killer.

"I think his mom deserves answers and the people responsible deserve to be held accountable," King said.

Mammana is scheduled to visit Columbus next week. Police hope that during his visit, they will be able to secure the reward money.

Watch NBC 4 and refresh for additional information.

Previous Story:
March 31, 2004: Police Search For Clues In 1996 Disappearance
Copyright 2005 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Robert S. Mohney

Above Images: Mohney, circa 1996

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

Missing Since: July 18, 1996 from Westerville, Ohio
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date of Birth: April 5, 1967
Age: 29 years old
Height and Weight: 5'11, 190 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Brown hair, blue eyes. Mohney's nickname is Rob. He has a scar on his right thigh.

Details of Disappearance

Mohney was last seen at his residence on Central College Road in Westerville, Ohio on July 18, 1996. He had returned home from work and prepared a steak dinner, and was in the process of eating when he left his house in his red 1995 Pontiac Firebird. He did not take his wallet with him. Mohney's roommate says it is unusual of him to interrupt a meal. He has never been heard from again. He was reported missing two days after he was last seen. His vehicle was found parked above the Hoover Reservoir shortly after his disappearance, but there was no sign of him at the scene.
Mohney was employed in the construction trade in 1996 and is described as a reliable worker. His loved ones stated it is uncharacteristic of him to leave without warning or to be out of contact with them. Authorities believe he met with foul play, but no one has been charged in his case. His disappearance remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Westerville Police Department

Source Information
NBC 4i News
The Doe Network
ThisWeek Newspapers

Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004.

Last updated June 12, 2006; details of disappearance updated.

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Posted: Feb 12 2007, 12:24 AM

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Posted: Jun 30 2007, 05:07 PM


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Shaffer Only One Of Many Missing Central Ohioans
Call Crime Stoppers At (614) 645-TIPS

POSTED: 6:20 pm EDT April 21, 2006
UPDATED: 6:30 pm EDT April 21, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Police are trying to follow up on leads in the case of missing Ohio State medical student Brian Shaffer. But his disappearance is not the only missing person case local police are working.

Marie Green's sister, Crystal Wilson, vanished during the Christmas season of 2004. Some people believe she left on her own, but Green just wants her home.

"She has two little children. They are 8 and 10, (and) they have not seen their mother in two and a half years," Green said. "I just want my sister to know we miss her very much. We love her very much."

The events surrounding the disappearance of Tony Luzio Jr. are far less clear, but the struggles for his father are very real, NBC 4's John Ivanic reported.

"The thing I worry about my son being missing is how it's taken a back seat," said Columbus Division of Police Lt. Tony Luzio Sr.

Tony Luzio Jr. has been missing since July 2005.

In another Central Ohio missing person case, Ashley Howley has not been seen since June 2004.

"I think I could handle it if she was killed in a car accident. It would be devastating, but not knowing if she's laying in the woods somewhere, it's driving me nuts," a family member said.

The then-20-year-old woman was on her way to a friend's house, but never showed up.

Police have questioned people in connection with her disappearance, but no arrests have been made.

Jackie Zapert knows how the other families feel. For nearly a decade, she has lived her life not knowing what happened to her son, Rob Mohney.

"To not know what has happened to your child, there's nothing worse than that," Zapert said.

Mohney disappeared from his Westerville home in June 1996. He has not been seen or heard from since.

"Ten years later, you still hold out hope," Zapert said. "I guess there's still some little 1 percent chance we're all wrong and he's going to come back. It hurts every day. Holidays and stuff are a little worse, but it hurts every day."

Jessica Conners' sister disappeared during the holiday season. Carla Losey was last seen leaving a West Broad Street bar on New Year's Eve in 2002.

Another high-profile case from a few years ago is the case of Patti Adkins. She vanished after working a shift at the Honda plant in Marysville.

Central Ohio Crime Stoppers has issued rewards for many of Central Ohio's missing people. Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at (614) 645-TIPS.

Posted: Jun 30 2007, 05:08 PM


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Families of missing adults left to wonder and worry

Thursday, June 1, 2006

This Week Staff Writer

Randy Shaffer didn't let himself think about what he was doing, he just did it.

Reaching down into the rushing waters of the Olentangy River, he was hoping against hope not to find what he was seeking: the dead body of his missing son, Ohio State University medical student and Pickerington High School graduate Brian Shaffer.

An insistent psychic kept calling the worried father, saying she was troubled by visions of the missing 27-year-old man's body trapped against one of the supports for the West Fifth Avenue bridge.

In the end, Randy Shaffer, of Baltimore in Fairfield County, couldn't not go to check for himself. His brother went along to help in the grim task.

Standing on the riverbank, his eyes filling with tears, on hand in case of an emergency, was Kevin J. Miles, volunteer president of Central Ohio Crime Stoppers Inc.

"I met with the father Sunday morning (May 7) and we decided we were going to wade the water," Miles recalled. "The father and (his) brother got these waders. I didn't go in the water, but I remember tears in my eyes watching this father frantically searching under all these big cement things, sticking his hands down because of what this psychic had said. It upset me, of course, this father trying to find his son.

"I was happy that I had the opportunity to help. I wasn't happy I was there ... "

Nothing turned up in the search, keeping hope alive, and worry, as well.

"I literally checked every single column that was under the Fifth Avenue bridge," Randy Shaffer said. "There is no way that Brian could be in that river at that spot.

"Yes, it would have torn me up to find my son, but I didn't think of that."

Brian Shaffer was last seen April 1 at the Ugly Tuna Saloona near campus. He did not, his father insists, just walk away.

"My son is not here because of something that happened," Randy Shaffer said with conviction.

Brian was headed to Florida, his father said, taking a vacation with a young woman he loves and planned to marry. Brian's bags were packed. The plane tickets had been purchased.

"He was all ready to go," Randy Shaffer said.

Now he's just plain gone.

For Randy Shaffer it's been two months since his son vanished.

For Jackie Zapert of the Northland area, it's been almost 10 years since son Rob Mohney disappeared. Every time she hears reports of another parent whose adult son or daughter is missing, her heart goes out to them.

"I absolutely know what their feeling is," Zapert said. "At the very beginning it's a terrible thing, a horrible thing. Your child is always your child.

"Once you've had something like this happen to your family, the impact was very great. I guess I always thought, too, when crime happens that this person was probably a criminal or did something wrong. It was the kind of thing that would never happen to you or anyone in your family."

Rob Mohney was last seen at the wheel of his red Pontiac Firebird in Westerville on July 16, 1996.

Since then, nothing.

"He was not a person who, number one, would not show up to work or not call in if he was sick or something," Zapert said. "He would not worry his family, absolutely would not have done that. From the very beginning it just didn't feel right."

It hasn't felt right for nearly a decade now.

"You're just in limbo," Jackie Zapert said. "It has been such a long time that I seriously know that Rob isn't coming back, and yet without a body being found or some kind of closure on this there's always that slight chance that everybody's wrong and that he would come back."

For the Luzio family of Powell, the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of Anthony J. Luzio Jr. is coming up July 4.

"It's been horrendous for us, the family," said his father, Anthony J. Luzio Sr., a sergeant with the Columbus Division of Police. "I guess it's a pain that's always there, every day, all through the day. You just kind of learn to live with it.

"The emotions come to the front and you just kind of learn to control them so you can get through the day."

Sgt. Luzio has heard from people who say Anthony Jr. just walked away.

"He may have," the cop admitted. "I'm not saying 100 percent that he didn't."

But in his heart of hearts, in his gut, Luzio knows something bad happened to his son.

"You look at the history and it's just not there," Luzio said.

The sergeant used to think that not knowing what happened to a son or daughter would be worse than learning the young man or young woman was dead.

Now, he's not so sure.

Uncertainty admits at least the slim possibility of hope.

The parents of missing adults find themselves in the peculiar and uncomfortable position of hoping their son or daughter is being cruel, heartless, selfish, that they have just walked away from the life they were leading and the people who loved them.

They have to believe that because the alternative is unthinkable.

Because his heart went out to people in such anguish, Kevin Miles on July 19 of last year launched a Web site devoted to missing adults under the auspices of Crime Stoppers. The site,, came about after Sally Sheasby convinced Miles that her son, Mount Vernon resident Jonathan "JC" Sheasby, was the victim of foul play.

"I sat down and talked with her and her husband. I'm not a detective, I do understand that, but I just knew that this mother knew something was wrong," Miles said.

JC Sheasby vanished from his apartment on March 21, 2005. According to Miles, it was 68 days later before police in Mount Vernon agreed to look into the disappearance.

The 30-year-old man's body was found 86 days after he was last seen alive. In January, a Mount Vernon man serving a short prison term for grand theft was charged with Sheasby's murder, allegedly to keep him from testifying in another criminal case.

As a result of the reward posted by the Sheasby family on the Central Ohio Crime Stoppers Web site prior to the body being found, the families of other missing adults began contacting the nonprofit organization.

Many of them, Miles said, were deeply frustrated.

"We got involved and we started having all these other families calling me, saying, 'Look, my son, my daughter is missing,' " he said. "I was getting phone calls from all over the place. I went to see if there was a Web site or something that you could see how many people, and there wasn't. There was nothing for a family to do.

"What do you do when your son or daughter is missing?"

Ohio currently has approximately 900 missing adults.

Nationwide, according to a spokeswoman for the FBI's National Crime Information Center in Clarksburg, W.Va., as of May 1 there were 50,177 active cases of missing adults.

The response to the Ohio Missing Adults Web site has been so strong, according to the Crime Stoppers president, that the Ohio Attorney General's office is adding a missing adults component to Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse.

"There is a federal initiative to increase the training and awareness about missing adults," said Brent L. Currence, director of the Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse. "Missing children causes and initiatives have really been going on since 1979 ... and I see the missing adult initiative starting off much the same way."

By the same token, Currence admitted, there is some reluctance on the part of law enforcement officials to thoroughly investigate all reports of missing persons over 18 years of age.

"An adult can go missing if they want to," Currence said.

"It's easy to disappear," said Detective Gerald E. Milner, Crime Stoppers coordinator for the Columbus Division of Police. "It just depends on if you are willing to stop using credit cards. Some people are more dependent on credit and trackable accounts than others.

"If you're a person who can go out and get a job as a handyman and just work under the table, of course you're going to be very difficult to track if you don't want to be tracked."

According to Currence, of the Attorney General's office, people in law enforcement circles who were contacted for comment on proposed legislation dealing with missing adults estimated that between 60 and 75 percent of reported cases involve someone leaving of his or her own volition.

"When there are flags that are present that should cause alarm, that's kind of how the legislation is being geared," Currence said.

The flags all seemed to be there when the family of 21-year-old Grove City resident Hiroshi "Hiro" Hayashi reported him missing on May 11. Crime Stoppers sent out a media advisory. His family waited and worried.

Then, five days later, the Ohio State University student turned up in Athens, Tenn. He initially claimed to have been abducted, but later admitted that wasn't true.

He was charged with filing a false report and was allowed to return to Ohio, where his parents are reportedly getting him a psychiatric evaluation.

"The good news is that he was not found dead, but we have other families that would like to switch places," Kevin Miles said. "There's a lot of bad news out there for other families. One bad apple shouldn't spoil it for all.

"We don't stop responding because it's a false alarm. We have to make sure we're available for the real thing."

The Hayashi case moved Dispatch editor Benjamin J. Marrison to write a column about the difficulty newspapers have when it comes to writing about missing adults.

"The Hayashi story illustrates just how challenging it is to determine the newsworthiness of a missing-person case," Marrison wrote in the piece that ran May 21. "Cases like this make newspapers reluctant to jump on every one.

"Hayashi's case is a perfect example of why we avoid such stories," the editor added.

Law enforcement officials likewise face a dilemma when it comes to missing adults, according to Officer Milner.

"A lot of times," he said. "the challenges are where do you put your time and your efforts.

"If you don't have an organization like (Crime Stoppers) that has volunteer citizens willing to do this, this is not going to be done because the public is going to ask, 'Well, this person who's been murdered is definitely murdered, this person who's been raped is definitely raped, this person who's been robbed is definitely robbed.' They're going to begin to pull their paid law enforcement back into what they feel are 'definites,' so I think that there's just no doubt that you have to have the support for an organization that has individuals willing to come in, willing to give their time to do things that fill in the gaps where law enforcement ends and the families begin."

"Families know," Kevin Miles said with certainty.

Posted: May 22 2008, 05:19 PM


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Posted: Nov 12 2010, 11:48 AM


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Westerville PD cold case resurfaces on Hartford Rd.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
News Assistant Managing Editor

A rumor was floating around the Sunbury area earlier this week that police were searching for a body in a farm field on Hartford Road in Trenton Township. According to Westerville Police Division Detective John Petrozzi the rumor is true, there was digging at the site.

The police, following a tip, were searching for Robert Mohney, a 29-year-old Westerville man who went missing in 1996. Cadaver dogs were at the scene, there was some digging, but Detective Petrozzi said because the investigation is active and ongoing he could not comment on what, if anything, was found.

Mohney was last seen at his residence on Central College Road in Westerville on July 16, 1996. He had returned home from work, prepared a steak dinner, and was in the process of eating when he left his house without his wallet in his red 1995 Pontiac Firebird. He has never been heard from again.

Mohney’s roommate said at the time that it was unusual of him to interrupt a meal.

Mohney was reported missing two days after he was last seen. His vehicle was found parked above Hoover Reservoir shortly after his disappearance, but there was no sign of him at the scene.

Mohney was employed in the construction trade in 1996 and was described as a reliable worker. His family said at the time of his disappearance that it would be uncharacteristic of him to leave without warning or to be out of contact with them.

Petrozzi said that at the time of Mohney’s disappearance police suspected foul play.

“Mohney was eventually legally declared dead, the case was never closed,” Detective Petrozzi said. “We’ve had several persons of interest we’ve looked at through the years, but we’ve never had a firm suspect.”

Petrozzi said if anyone has information about the Rob Mohney disappearance to contact Detective Scott Dollison by calling the Westerville Police Division Tip Line at 614-901-6866.

“We don’t work a 10-year-old cold case every day, but the Rob Mohney disappearance is an active cold case,” Petrozzi added. “We would sure like to give the family some closure on this.”
Posted: Jul 11 2011, 09:21 PM


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Man who vanished in '96 still sought
Police suspect he was slain; car found at dam
Monday, July 11, 2011 03:06 AM

The Columbus Dispatch

A missing-person case and probable homicide from 15 years ago is the crime of the week in the Crime Stoppers program.

Robert Mohney, 29, disappeared on July 16, 1996. He was last seen in his red Pontiac Firebird, which was found unoccupied two days later in a parking lot at the Hoover Reservoir dam on Sunbury Road, less than a mile from his home.

Mohney was reported missing by his estranged wife. A search of the house did not indicate signs of a struggle, but he had left behind a half-eaten meal, as though he had left in a hurry or was surprised by someone.

Investigators believe that Mohney's disappearance was the result of foul play and that he probably was killed.

A photo of Mohney may be viewed on the Crime Stoppers website at

Crime Stoppers is offering up to $2,000 for information received by July20 that leads to an arrest or indictment. Call 614-461-8477; send email tips through; or text a tip to 274637, keyword CMH.
Posted: Jul 11 2011, 09:21 PM


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Police Digging For Clues In Westerville Man's Disappearance
Monday, November 8, 2010 4:53 PM
Updated: Monday, November 8, 2010 6:09 PM
Print StoryE-mail StoryWESTERVILLE, Ohio — Police said on Monday that they could be one step closer to solving a cold case involving a man who has been missing since 1996.

On Friday, police began digging on a plot of land off of Hartford Road, in Delaware County, in search of evidence in the case of a man missing for more than a decade, 10TV's Danielle Elias reported.

Rob Mohney was last seen on July 16, 1996.

Police said he left his Westerville home with food on the table and a drink in the freezer. His car was spotted several days later near Hoover Reservoir.

"There (were) a lot of people around," said neighbor Rick Fay. "And there was a backhoe and they started digging."

Fay lives down the street from what is now farm land, but more than a decade ago, people lived on the property.

"Over where there's an old house over there, you can see the dirt piled up," Fay said. "And then, back in the corner of the woods over here they were digging."

Mahoney's body has never been found, but police consider his disappearance a case of foul play.

"There are people that know what happened to Rob Mohney, he didn't just vanish from the face of the earth," said Westerville police Lt. John Petrozzi. "We ran cadaver dogs through there and anywhere where cadaver dogs showed interest, we dug in those areas."

Investigators would not disclose what they found on Friday, but said they will continue their investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call Westerville police at 614-901-6866.

Watch 10TV News HD and refresh for additional information.
Posted: Jul 11 2011, 09:25 PM


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Missing Man Disappeared During Dinner; Reward Offered
Robert Mohney

Robert Mohney

By Andy Long
Published: July 10, 2011
» Comments | Post a Comment

Westerville Police and Central Ohio Crime Stoppers hope that a $2,000 reward will help crack a 15-year-old missing person case.

On July 16, 1996, Robert Mohney was eating a steak dinner at his home on Central College Road in Westerville when for some reason, he got up and left, leaving half of his dinner behind.

Mohney’s red Pontiac Firebird was found a short time later in the parking lot of Hooover Reservoir dam on Sunbury road. There was no sign of Mohney.

Mohney was reported missing by his estranged wife, Angela.

A search of Mohney’s home did not reveal any signs of a struggle, Crime Stoppers said.

Investigators believe that Mohney’s disappearance is the result of foul play and believe he was murdered,

Central Ohio Crime Stoppers has posted a reward of up to $2,000 for any information received by July 20, 2011, leading to the arrest and/or indictment of the persons responsible for this crime. Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 614-461-TIPS (8477) or go to and E-mail your tip. You can text a tip to “CRIMES” 274637, keyword CMH.

For additional information, stay with NBC4 and refresh
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