25-year-old Middletown man's death along bike path puzzles police

Death investigated as homicide

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio – Police say they are puzzled by the death of a 25-year-old Middletown man who was found in a pool of blood along a bicycle path Sunday.

William Tyrone Sawyer, of Woodside Boulevard in Middletown, had no vital signs when he was found off of the Great Miami River Recreational Trail near Ninth and Maple streets at about 8:40 a.m.

 

Middletown Police Sergeant David Birk said Sawyer suffered an entry and exit wound, and officers are investigating his death as a homicide.

Kiera Robinson, 14, who lives nearby, said she found his body face down.

"I walked over there (and) found this big huge guy just laying there," Robinson said. "It got me nervous and upset."

The girl and her mother, Sherri Robinson, live across the street from the bike path where Sawyer's body was found.

In 15 years of living in the area, Sherri said she has never experienced anything like this. But she said she has always been "scared and nervous" to use the bike trail.

"Some of the people didn't seem right. I didn't trust them," she said. "They'd be walking and I don't know, they just made me nervous. I just didn't want to go back over there."

Sawyer’s sister-in-law Maronda Kraft said the 25-year-old was kind and stayed out of trouble.

"You would never have thought (it would be Sawyer) because you never heard about him in the streets or anything like that," she said.

Detectives are awaiting the results of an autopsy conducted Monday to determine the exact cause of death.

Birk said research into Sawyer’s background and life has not given detectives much on finding a motive.

"(Sawyer has) very little criminal history,” Birk said. “He wasn't someone we had repeated calls on or complaints on for police responding calls, so at this point, talking to his friends and family, he didn't have any enemies."

Police said Sawyer was found with money in his wallet, which has ruled out suspicions his death was the result of a robbery.

Birk said the area his body was found in is also puzzling.

"At this point, it is an unusual place to have a homicide, so detectives are doing what they can to gather as much information as possible," Birk said.

As they wait for answers, Sawyer’s family members said they are still trying to grip with what happened.

Brittany Sawyer said she learned about her brother-in-law’s death online before she knew it was him.

"(It’s) really shocking because I was reading it on Facebook, but I didn't know it was him until my mother-in-law called me," Brittany said. "Somebody killed him… shouldn't nobody take anybody else's life."

The Middletown Police Department is asking anyone with information in this case to call 513-425-7720.

WCPO reporter Jay Warren contributed to this report.

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