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Police continue probe of murder

Ironton police are still searching for clues that could bring an end to the mystery behind the May murder of an Ironton cab driver.

Tuesday, January 23, 2001

Ironton police are still searching for clues that could bring an end to the mystery behind the May murder of an Ironton cab driver.

For months now, the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI) has been processing evidence gathered during the ongoing investigation of the homicide of cab driver William C. Keen, 62, of 1727 Echo Drive, Ironton.

Keen was found dead in the south end of the city around 1:22 a.m. May 10. Police found his body in an alley off South Fourth Street between Ashtabula and Clinton streets, only a few feet away from his car.

Officials are still waiting for several DNA lab results from evidence found at the crime scene, Ironton police detective Capt. Chris Bowman said.

"We’re still investigating the case and we’re still waiting on lab results from BCI," Bowman said. "We have received some results back from evidence that was originally sent, but we have sent additional evidence in recent months for testing."

Those results that have came back still don’t provide officials with enough information to make any formal arrests, he added.

"As soon as we finish getting the remainder of the results back and if something comes back to point to a suspect, we will take action," he said. "But until such time, we are still looking very closely at several possible suspects."

Police officials remain hopeful that an arrest can be made in the near future, but say that the results of BCI’s testing will be the key to incarcerating any suspect.

"Obviously, this is a high-profile case," Bowman said. "We are still receiving information on the case and following all leads we receive."

Keen, a Sureway Cab Co. driver, was dispatched to a Third Street bar at about 11 p.m. but he never arrived.

Sureway officials reported Keen missing shortly before midnight May 9. Coal Grove police, county prosecutor’s office investigators and the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department assisted with IPD’s initial inquiry shortly after cab company officials reported Keen missing.

Keen’s body wasn’t found until early the next morning. Police determined that he had suffered a stab wound and his throat appeared to have been cut.

"The last contact the cab company had with Keen was at about 10:30 p.m.," Bowman said. "He reported to them then that he was parked near the VFW. The contact they made with him at around 11 p.m. was the last they heard from him."

Despite delays in receiving test results, officials continue moving forward with the murder investigation, he added.

"It’s not going to be a quick case by no means," he said. "We’re dealing with no witnesses in this case and very little evidence. It’s a hard case. We still have some investigating to do, but we are definitely getting closer."