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Backstory sharonville detective testing evidence in Raymond Wells III death

For the families of victims killed in unsolved murders, life is at a standstill.

The Enquirer is highlighting a series of cold cases, summarized and analyzed by the journalists whose careers largely focus on unsolved murders: the creators of Cincinnati.com's Accused podcast. If you have any information on any unsolved case, please reach out to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Suggestions for cases to highlight can be sent to [email protected] 

The crime: When Sharonville Police fielded a call about a man struggling to stand up near the entrance of Sharon Woods park, they thought they would find someone stumbling around drunk. 

What they found instead was the dead body of 18-year-old Raymond Wells III.

Wells had been stabbed to death, hit by a car and dragged several feet on June 28, 1999. Police at first zeroed in on a 16-year-old suspect, but Sharonville Detective Chris Wilson said this week that the charges were quickly dismissed for lack of evidence.

Twenty-two years later, Wilson is working with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations' Cold Case Unit in hopes of finally solving the slaying.

Sharonville Police and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations are taking another look at the June 28, 1999, slaying of Raymond Wells III.

The ripple effects: How Wells’ case came to be “un-cold,” as Wilson put it, speaks to the lingering effects unsolved homicides can have. That is:

One of Wells’ nephews – a young man who hadn’t even been born when Wells was killed – came to Wilson with some questions. The nephew had grown interested in unsolved homicides and was writing a college paper about them. One of the cases he used to bolster his paper's thesis involved the death of his mother’s brother, a man he’d never met but whose unsolved slaying cast a shadow over the family. 


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