No indictment in cold case hatchet murder - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

No indictment in cold case hatchet murder

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There are new details in a cold case murder investigation out of Sandusky County.

A grand jury has declined to indict the suspect identified by investigators after a cable television program generated new tips from the public.

This comes 26 years after Isabel Cordle of Bellevue was killed with a hatchet.

"The grand jury did not feel there was enough there to get an indictment handed down at this point," says Detective Sean O'Connell with the Sandusky County Sheriff's Office. "We have reason to believe it is Mark Carter. The cold case is 26 years old. It was a three day grand jury. I think the information became overwhelming and confusing and conflicting for grand jurors. It is still considered an active investigation. Evidence needs to be resubmitted for further testing."

On Monday the victim's children talked to 13abc for the first time about that gruesome night back in 1988 and their disappointment in the investigation more than a quarter century later.

You may have watched the TNT show called "Cold Justice" which profiled the Isabel Cordle cold case last fall.

Tips received after that episode aired allowed investigators to clear the victim's husband as the long-time prime murder suspect.

But now after a grand jury chose not to charge the new suspect with a crime, the family believes whoever killed Isabel will get away with murder while they're left, once again, torn apart.

"I remember my mom going to Bingo," says Katherine Cordle, Isabel Cordle's daughter who was ten years old when her mom died. "I remember who she went with."

Katherine says she was in bed upstairs when late one night in January of 1988 after Bingo, Isabel Cordle fell asleep on the couch inside their Bellevue home.

Someone hit Isabel in the head with a hatchet and left the murder weapon outside leaning against a tree.

Richard Cordle, Senior, told police he found his wife when he walked downstairs in the morning.

"I remember my dad screaming at the bottom of the steps on the phone," says Katherine.

26 years ago, deputies questioned Richard Cordle, Senior, and never charged him with a crime.  Last summer at his Indiana home, investigators questioned him once again after the case was reopened with the help of TNT's "Cold Justice."

"Between the show and Sandusky County, they've ruined our name," says Richard Cordle, Junior, who was 14 years old when his mother was murdered.  The son was considered a suspect, as well, for some time.

He and his sister are disappointed, but not surprised that no criminal indictment was issued against Mark Carter of Clyde after a three day grand jury last week.

"They go so long accusing my dad and now they're just jumping onto a new suspect is what killed it," says Richard Cordle, Jr.

Detective O'Connell believes Carter orchestrated the murder from prison with an accomplice.  Carter was serving time for allegedly molesting Isabel's son Richard Cordle, Jr., about a year before she died.

 "He threatened my mom in open court saying, 'It's not over until you're dead, b****," says Richard Cordle, Junior.

However, a grand jury decided there was not enough evidence to indict.

"My main concern is my dad and I think it has almost killed him," says Katherine.

O'Connell says Carter maintains his innocence.

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