Unsolved murder case in Sandusky Co. reopened after 25 years - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Unsolved murder case in Sandusky Co. reopened after 25 years

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The Sandusky County Sheriff has reopened a 25-year-old cold case.

The murder of a Bellevue wife and mother with a hatchet is getting a fresh look with the help of a new cable TV show.

Sandusky County Sheriff Kyle Overmyer says TNT chose his department to be a part of a new reality show that helps law enforcement in small towns. The point is the agencies can't afford to spend time and manpower investigating cold cases. Overmyer says this summer they've interviewed more than 60 people in a gruesome cold case.

Isabel Cordle fell asleep on the couch inside her Bellevue home after getting home late from Bingo on January 24, 1988. The 49-year-old never woke up.

Someone hit her in the back of the head at least three times with a hatchet.

Police found the murder weapon right outside. They say it looks almost staged leaning up against a tree.

"That's the Hatchet House," says Laura Butz who lives a stone's throw away from where the grisly killing occurred.

Butz was 33 years old at the time.

"Well it's just kind of creepy, it always has been creepy just knowing they never caught who did it," says Butz.

Now a quarter century later, Isabel's cold case is reopened with the help of the team on a new TNT reality show called Cold Justice.

"I think we have gone so much further since 25 years ago that we're going to get there and we're almost there right now," says Sandusky County Sheriff Kyle Overmyer.

13 ABC's Christine Long asks, "Are you close to an arrest?"

Overmyer says, "We're getting close. It's like we're hanging on the seat of our pants."

Detectives say Isabel's family was home when she was murdered. Inside the home were her husband Richard and their children who were ages 10, 12, and 14.

Richard Cordle told police they were all asleep and he found his wife dead when he walked downstairs in the morning.

"Richard Cordle the husband is an obvious suspect," says Detective Captain Sean O'Connell with the Sandusky County Sheriff's Office.

O'Connell says in 1988 Richard worked in Norwalk as a foreman at the Van Dresser Corporation which has since closed.

O'Connell says that facility used hatchets.

O'Connell says eight months after the murder, Richard married another woman who worked at Van Dresser named Sue Thompson.

"Why they didn't dig into Richard's past and why they didn't go out to the Van Dresser Corporation and speak with those who knew Sue Thompson, who knew Richard Cordle, I don't know," says O'Connell.

The couple now lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where detectives questioned the two twice this summer.

"If Richard didn't do it, I think Richard certainly knows who did it," says O'Connell.

The show 'Cold Justice' is scheduled to premiere on TNT in September.

In the meantime, the sheriff's department is asking anyone who used to work at Van Dresser in 1988 and knew the Cordles to call their office at 419-332-2613.

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