Jeff Ruby: Donate reward money to Brogan Dulle's family for brother's education

CINCINNATI -- While he can’t remove the pain Brogan Dulle’s family is going through, Jeff Ruby wants to do something to benefit them.

On Sunday, a day after the University of Cincinnati student's funeral, Ruby announced via Twitter that he has decided to give $7,500 to Brogan’s younger brother, Tim, by way of a college scholarship.

Those funds were originally dedicated to the search effort to find Brogan. The 21-year-old was found dead inside a home near his apartment on May 26, eight days after his disappearance.

Ruby's tweet read, "At the advice of Cincinnati police, my reward money will not be issued. I have chosen to use it for Tim Dulle's tuition at the University of Cincinnati. Tim just graduated from Turpin High School.”

The eccentric restaurateur says he has also talked about the reward money with UC President Santa Ono, who offered an additional $10,000 to the search effort.

“I've actually had discussions with President Ono that the money will go to the university of Cincinnati and offer a scholarship which would be better for the family so they don't have to pay taxes on me just handed them the money."

Ono hasn't said what he plans to do with the money he offered.

One of the choices for Ruby would have been to give it to the woman who led police to Brogan Dulle’s body, Miriam Martinez.

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Cincinnati police Assistant Chief Dave Bailey says Martinez called police on the night of May 26 because she thought there was an intruder at 173 E. McMillan St. in Mount Auburn.  

But it turned out to be Brogan’s body.

Martinez found Brogan in a dark corner of the building’s basement. She was onsite to inspect the property, which is currently being rehabilitated. 

Martinez said she has come forward in an attempt to claim up to $20,000 that was raised as a reward for clues in Brogan's disappearance.

She told WCPO she hopes to qualify for at least the $2,500 in reward money donated to Crime Stoppers by the Dulle family so she can give it to a Cincinnati mentoring program called the Institute of Youth Development and Excellence (IYDE).

“In this unexplainable difficult situation, I want something good to come out of it,” Martinez said. “I want something to be prevented."

According to IYDE’s website, the organization’s mission is to “assist communities in developing increased capacity to establish and maintain effective youth development programs based on mentorship and positive character development.”

IYDE Executive Director Riyad Shamma said any money received would go toward preventing future suicides in the youth community.

But Ruby said he's not certain Martinez should get the money because she didn't find the body, police officers did.

Bailey said police attempted to contact Martinez a few times during the search for Brogan but she didn't return their calls.

 

But Martinez released a statement Monday claiming that she was never contacted by police at her phone number.

"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," the statement from Martinez read.

Ruby also tweeted that, “As a sponsor of Crime Stoppers, Board member of Texas Equaasearch & citizen of Cincinnati I can't extend reward $ to ANY1 not entitled to it.”

Crime Stoppers Executive Director Gene Ferrara said his organization's board will decide what to do with the $2,500 at its next meeting on June 13.

"We will rely on the Cincinnati Police Department to tell us whether or not this tip – this call – led directly to the discovery of the body," Ferrara said.

But he said Ono and Ruby will have to decide for themselves what to do with their money.

"We will share with (Ono and Ruby) what our process came up with, what decision we made and what we based it on – and then they have to make a decision on what they want to do with their reward," she said.

Ruby said he is considering a personal donation to IYDE. A dollar amount wasn't stated.

Web editor Max Alter contributed to this report.

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