Police: Man who went missing from Lockland bank found dead in car

LOCKLAND, Ohio -- Authorities have found the body of a man who they believe was abducted while leaving a bank on Friday with "a large amount of money."

The body of James P. Rolman, 72, was discovered shortly before noon Saturday at an abandoned business in the 200 block of Smalley Road, Lockland police confirmed. He was found inside his car with a gunshot wound to the back of his head.

"This is a sad day for the business owners in Lockland," Police Chief James Toles said. "Mr. Rolman was an outstanding business owner. For an individual to take somebody's life for no reason is not called for."

Investigators said they responded to the former J&R Trucking site after receiving an anonymous tip early Saturday.

Toles said workers found a considerable amount of clutter stacked inside a silo on the property. When they went to clear the debris, they found Rolman's car.

"They investigated a little further, noticed there was a vehicle underneath all the clothing," Toles said. "At that time, they investigated the inside and noticed that there was an individual inside the vehicle."

Later Saturday night, while following leads in the investigation local law enforcement agencies and the FBI located a person of interest in the death. Chris McFerron, 42, of Lockland led police on an hour-long chase that ended near Blue Rock Road in Colerain Township.

Parts of I-74 were closed during the chase that rarely exceeded the posted speed limit and sometimes moved as slow as 20 to 30 miles-per-hour. McFerron eventually surrendered after a few tense moments with police as he held a gun while speaking with police.

WATCH: Police confront person of interest in Lockland homicide

He was charged with inducing panic, using a weapon while intoxicated and resisting arrested. McFerron remained in the Hamilton County Justice Center Sunday morning.

RELATED: Lockland abduction, homicide suspect arrested after chase  

Rolman, the owner of Hirschberg Scrap Metal in Lockland, was last seen at 11:30 a.m. Friday withdrawing about $6,500 in cash from a US Bank branch on Williams Street. The area is about a mile from where the body was found.

Police said the money withdrawn was for the payroll at Rolman's business.

A team with Texas Equusearch scoured the area near the bank for Rolman Saturday morning. That search was called off after it began storming.

Investigators said video from the bank caught Rolman getting into a 2013 Ford Taurus with Ohio tag FTM4893. In the same frame an unknown man wearing a blue shirt and white shoes approaching and entering the car.

They said the man leaned onto the side of Rolman's car for a brief period and then got in. It is not clear if he had a weapon.

RELATED: Police say man possibly abducted after leaving Lockland bank with 'large amount of money'

Police say Rolman's cellphone was turned off at 11:30 a.m.

Multiple law enforcement agencies took part in the investigation including the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Lockland police contacted the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation for assistance in the case.

Robert Jefferies works for Rolman. He said everyone at the steel yard knew Rolman, and their hearts were broken after he went missing Friday.

"He gave me a job, got me back on my feet," Jefferies said. "I've been there a year and a half and that man would do anything for me.

"He's the best man in the world and I mean, you can't ask for a better boss than Jim (Rolman)."
In a plea for his boss's safety, Jefferies said, "Let him be free, come back to work and help people out again."

Since Rolman gave so much help to Jefferies, the worried worker hopes to soon return the kind favor.

"Jim, thank you, I love you bud. And I'll walk up to the bank with you any time you need," he said.

The Lockland Police Department asks anyone with information in this case to call 513-761-1699.

WCPO reporter Evan Millward spoke with Jefferies Friday evening. Shannon Kettler, Tony Mirones, Scott Wegener and Tom McKee contributed to Saturday's report.

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