Last suspect in custody in Rothgeb death investigation

Staff Report

Lacey Young

Lacey Young

COLUMBUS — Gallia Sheriff Matt Champlin announced the last suspect in the death investigation of Terry “Shag” Rothgeb, 55, of Gallipolis, was taken into custody Thursday evening in Columbus after months of searching.

“I am pleased to announce that Lacey J. Young, 29, of Middleport was arrested at approximately 7 p.m. on Thursday evening by the United States Marshals Service in Columbus, Ohio,” said Champlin in a statement. “The Gallia County Sheriff’s Office has formed a working relationship with the marshal’s service in an effort to eliminate the ability of criminals to victimize Gallia County citizens and then flee our area to avoid arrest. This is an example of how our agency is forming relationships and is utilizing the resources of our fellow law enforcement agencies which is benefiting our citizens in Gallia County. I am thankful that Ms. Young is now in custody and that the parties involved in Mr. Rothgeb’s death are being brought to justice.”

Two individuals had originally been taken into custody in April after being indicted based upon the investigation into the death of Rothgeb by the Gallia Sheriff’s Office. The third, Lacey Young, remained at large.

Ralph Young, 39, and Leeza Bartels, 22, both of Bidwell, were taken into custody by detectives with the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of the Gallipolis Police Department after receiving an anonymous tip from the public as to their whereabouts.

Deputies discovered the body of Rothgeb in Gallia County’s Springfield Township Feb. 12 at 2 a.m. after having received a missing person report the same day.

Investigators believed Rothgeb did not die where he was found in Springfield Township and that his body was moved. Gallia Sheriff’s Office investigators were able to develop suspects and through them learned the whereabouts of the body. Law enforcement officials would come upon Rothgeb’s form and believe his death to be due to drug overdose. Investigators returned to where they believe Rothgeb originally died at a residence in the Rodney area, according to previous conversations with Gallia Sheriff Matt Champlin.

At the time the body was discovered and the investigation underway, the sheriff said the scene had been cleaned and evidence removed.

“The case has shown that Mr. Rothgeb passed away, Mr. Young was a part of moving his body into a van and then relocating the van (to another location) and leaving (Rothgeb) there,” Gallia Prosecutor Jason Holdren previously said. “Mr. Young said they (he and his colleagues) were scared.”

As part of court proceedings, Young reportedly said he and his colleagues attempted to revive Rothgeb with Narcan, an opioid overdose revival drug, and CPR on the deceased’s form. Young was sentenced to two and a half years in prison in June while Bartles was sentenced to two years in July. Both were convicted of gross abuse of a corpse, a fifth-degree felony, and tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony.

Lacey Young Young

Staff Report