Neighbors expressed sorrow and concern on Monday afternoon as police officers examined a front lawn where a man’s body was found in the morning.
According to a news release from the Newcomerstown Police Department, officers responded to a call at 7:24 a.m. of an unresponsive man laying in the front yard of a residence at 511 Tuscarawas Ave.
Police described him as a young adult man with a gunshot wound to the back. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.
A press release issued Wednesday morning by the Newcomerstown Police Department identified the male shooting victim as 19-year-old Luke Cabbage of New Philadelphia.
"The body of Luke Cabbage was discovered in the front yard of a Tuscarawas Avenue address located in Newcomerstown, Ohio, at approximately 7:24 a.m. Monday morning," read the press release. "The investigation is ongoing but we are expected to release more information as appropriate."
Then, later on Wednesday, three people confessed to their roles in the killing, according to the Newcomerstown Police Department
The suspects are Kyle Boyd, 22, of 260 State Route 151, Mingo Junction; Jordan Robinson, 20, of 7818 County Road 39, Bloomingdale; and Arnoldo Moreno Orduno, 19, of 3742 Township Road 120, Dillonvale. They are being held at the Jefferson County Justice Center in Steubenville pending official charges, Newcomerstown police said in a press release Wednesday afternoon.
Bond has been set a $5 million for one of the suspects in Monday's murder of a 19-year-old New Philadelphia man who was found dead on a lawn in Newcomerstown.
In the Southern District of Tuscarawas County Court, Judge Brad L. Hillyer also set bond for the other two suspects at $2 million on Friday morning.
Newcomerstown police Officer Jennifer Lowery declined to say whether the higher bond for Arnoldo Moreno-Orduno, 19, of Dillonvale, indicated that he was the gunman.
"That I don't know, to be honest," said Lowery, who is investigating the killing with Newcomerstown Police Chief Gary Holland. "We have ideas, but it's information that we cannot give out yet because we are still actually investigating the case.
"We're not 100 percent conclusive in our findings; we can't say anything."
Although all three suspects are Jefferson County residents, Moreno-Orduno was born in Mexico, according to his defense attorney Francesca Carinci of Steubenville. She said his mother married an American man who adopted him.
Carinci, who handled the adoption, said that Moreno-Orduno's birth certificate was never obtained from Mexico.
She said her client has green-card status. People holding green cards are permanent residents who may live and work in the United States.
Carinici said deportation is a possibility for her client, although she identified that as the least of anyone's worries.
Information obtained through phone records led officers to the three men, police said. Police said they executed a search warrant Wednesday on a 2012 Ford Fusion, with the sheriff's offices from Tuscarawas and Jefferson counties participating along with Newcomerstown officers. The three suspects confessed after being interviewed, Newcomerstown police said.
Tuscarawas County Sheriff Orvis Campbell said his office worked with Jefferson County authorities overnight Tuesday and into early Wednesday for the investigation. He said authorities believe the three suspects are involved in the alleged murder.
The Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office is working on the necessary paperwork for Tuscarawas County Prosecutor Ryan Styer to charge the three individuals. Campbell said the suspects cannot return to Tuscarawas County without charges. And to return, there will need to be an extradition hearing. The suspects have the opportunity to waive the hearing.
Tuscarawas County Coroner Dr. Jeff Cameron determined the cause of death was homicide due to gunshot injury. He pronounced Cabbage dead at 7:26 a.m. Monday. The time of death is not listed on the coroner's report.
Newcomerstown police received a complaint about a noise that sounded like a firecracker at 4 a.m. Monday on Tuscarawas Avenue. Records provided by the department indicate no officer responded to the street until Cabbage's lifeless body was discovered by a resident around 7:24 a.m.
On Monday morning, a police SUV and a gray Dodge minivan blocked traffic on Tuscarawas Avenue north of Oak Street. Yellow police tape was strung across the grass between two mobile homes — one gray and one blue — on the east side of the street. Two strands of yellow tape stretched in a V-shape from lawn chairs to the curb.
"The body was right there where those lines are," said Amy Edwards, who lives across the street from the crime scene.
She said she did not know the deceased, or the residents in the properties where police were concentrating their efforts.
"I don’t hardly know any of my neighbors," Edwards said. "I keep to myself. I have a back yard and I stay back there."
She said police questioned her between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. Monday.
"I just know that the cops asked me if I heard anything," Edwards said. "I was asleep, so ...."
A little while later, she saw the body being taken away. She could not say whether it was male or female.
"It was in a bag," Edwards said.
While police examined the crime scene shortly before 4 p.m., a man returned to the gray mobile home to a child’s shout of "Daddy!" He exchanged casual conversation with a police officer.
Theresa Harper said she didn’t hear anything unusual in the morning, although she saw the police on the block when she went to pick up her newspaper around 7:45 a.m.
She said another neighbor, farther south on Tuscarawas Avenue, had talked about hearing what they thought were gunshots at 4 a.m. or 4:30 a.m.
Harper said the man in the gray trailer discovered the deceased as he prepared to go to work.
"When he went out to get in his car, he saw the body laying there," said Harper, who lives with two of her sisters.
One sister, Mary Ahle, said the police were on the street by 7:15 a.m.
"It’s just scary that it’s right in your back door," Harper said.
"A little too close to home," said Ahle.
Neither sister recalled hearing any noise in the morning.
An 80-year-old woman near the crime scene expressed regret that she had not looked outside on Monday morning when she heard the sound of something hitting metal.
"I just didn’t want to go outside to look," said the woman, who asked not to be named. "I feel bad that I didn’t, now, because maybe they could have got to him sooner."
She said she could have been easily knocked down, as she uses a walker to move around.
"It just makes me sick at my stomach that I didn’t see him, somebody didn’t get him some help.
"I was afraid to go outside, tell you the truth. Glad I didn’t, now. Someone was out there with a gun. I didn’t hear any gunshot. Can you believe that?
"It just makes you sick at your stomach to think about it," she said. "You know, that’s someone’s kid, whether he was good or bad."
Cabbage’s funeral service was to be 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 18, at Toland-Herzig Funeral Home & Crematory in Dover.
Cabbage was born May 4, 1998, in Mount Sterling, Ky., to Billy and Kathy (West) Cabbage. He was preceded in death by his father and grandfather, William "Bill" West, along with his great-grandparents, Lomas and Isabelle Shuman.
Cabbage graduated with the class of 2016 from New Philadelphia High School. He attended the University of Akron for a year following graduation. He formerly worked at Buehler’s in New Philadelphia. At the time of his death, he worked at Subway in New Philadelphia.
According to his obituary, Cabbage enjoyed traveling and competing in Kendama competitions. He competed in Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee. He was described as having had a contagious smile and having been a friendly face to many.
Survivors include his mother, grandmother Connie West of New Philadelphia, aunt Billie (Rick) Fioretto of Las Vegas and uncle Alan West of New Philadelphia.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Benefit of Luke Cabbage at the Dover-Phila Credit Union, 119 Fillmore Ave., Dover, Ohio 44622.
(Reporters Nancy Molnar, Alex Knisely and Rick Stillion contributed to this story. All are with GateHouse Ohio Media)