CINCINNATI – The debate over who should get the reward money in the Brogan Dulle case took a twist Tuesday when restaurateur Jeff Ruby changed his mind and said he would give a share to the 911 caller who led police to the college student's body.
"I'm now taking care of BOTH Ms. Martinez & the Dulle family. Raised donation to $10,000," Ruby tweeted.
Ruby's announcement came after Miriam Martinez, who made the 911 call, and a police spokesperson disputed Ruby's account of their roles in the matter on Monday.
Ruby said Tuesday that he felt offering Martinez a $2,500 reward was the right thing to do after he clarified her role with police.
Martinez said she would donate the reward to youth mentoring programs at the Institute of Youth Development and Excellence.
"I'm happy that Mr. Ruby was able to get the correct information, wanted to support the family and pledged $2,500 to donate to IYDE. I, of course, intend to donate all reward monies to support the mentorship programs at IYDE," she said in an email to WCPO.
Ruby had said Sunday that Martinez did not deserve the $7,500 reward he offered during the search for Dulle, contending that police, not Martinez, had found the body.
"They found the boy. The police did," Ruby said then. "There were many chances for that landlord knowing her building is boarded up next door to where this kid lived, to return police calls."
Martinez emailed a statement to WCPO on Monday saying she is not the landlord, the property wasn't boarded up and police never got through to her.
"I watched the segment on the Channel 9 news tonight in which J. Ruby stated that due to the advice of the Cincinnati police, he has made the decision in regards to the money that he had offered as a reward. He stated that there were many chances for that landlord (referring to me) knowing that her building was boarded up to return police calls. And that this is what he based his decision on.
"I want to say that his statements are misguided at best but certainly do not reflect the truth.
"First, I am not the landlord, secondly I do not live in the property, the property was never boarded up, and lastly and most significant I was never contacted, that is to say I never received any calls, I never saw any notes on the door of the building. I cannot speak to the efforts by the police but I trust that they did their job. I am speaking about facts."
Police said they searched the building's perimeter but weren't able to get inside for several days.
It took eight days after Dulle disappeared for them to find the body, after Martinez called and reported that she spotted an intruder in the dark basement. When police arrived, they found Dulle hanged by a cord.
Ruby also said police advised him not to give any money to Martinez. But Tiffaney Hardy, Cincinnati police spokesperson, told WCPO:
“It’s up to Mr. Ruby how he decides to distribute the reward money. We don’t really involve ourselves in private rewards or any other private entity that has an outstanding reward. It’s up to them how they decide to use it.”
Ruby said Sunday he would give his $7,500 reward in the form of a scholarship to Brogan Dulle's brother, Tim. The Turpin High grad is following Brogan to the University of Cincinnati in the fall.
Ruby said he wanted to help what he called a typical American family.
"This is was not some atypical family that had trouble with their kids. This is your family that lives next door. This is your 'Ozzie and Harriet' family," he said.
Martinez came forward last week to say if she got any reward money, it would go toward mentoring programs at IYDE.
She restated her view of the need for well-trained mentors for all youth - and their positive impact - in her Tuesday email.
"I feel passionate about the role that properly trained mentors play in a world plagued with prejudice, discrimination, bullying, drug abuse, risky behaviors and other social ills that might sometimes drive people to do things that hurt themselves, their family, friends or community at large," she wrote.
"I believe that EFFECTIVE mentoring is a key component in overcoming many of these challenges. Trained mentors are fundamental to carrying out effective mentoring programs in our community.
"I think it's important that people understand that mentorship is not only key in addressing serious social problems, but that mentorship is beneficial for all youth; not only for at risk youth, but also for youth from well established and well grounded families. The question is not 'if' youth will have issues that they would like to discuss with a mentor, but rather 'when' they will have these questions, and who will be there for them. I admire IYDE because their vision encompasses every youth having access to well trained mentors in every kind of community."
Martinez could still get the $2,500 reward that Dulle's family posted with Crime Stoppers or the $10,000 offered by UC president Santa Ono.
Crime Stoppers executive director Gene Ferrara says the only question its board wants
answered is whether Martinez's information led to the discovery.
The board meets June 13.
UC spokesman Greg Hand says that determination will guide the school on what to do with its $10,000 reward.
Hundreds of people commented on Ruby's decision on our Facebook page . See what they said and add your comment.