Man charged in 2009 murder of Stark Co. nurse

Posted at 5:05 PM, May 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-06 23:20:08-04

Police have charged a man in connection with the 2009 death of an Aultman Hospital nurse whose murder remained unsolved until recent developments.

The Stark County Sheriff served an aggravated murder warrant for Kenneth Roth at the Elkton Correctional Institution. Roth was indicted by the Stark County Grand Jury for the aggravated murder of Linda Smith on Dec. 9, 2009.

Authorities said Roth was indicted as a result of an ongoing cold case investigation lead by the Stark County Sheriff's Office in cooperation with the Stark County Prosecutor's Office.

Stark County Sheriff George T. Maier launched the investigation into Smith's murder in 2013. Smith, 61, was found strangled in her Osnaburg Township home.

Roth was taken back to the Stark County Jail and was booked on aggravated murder charges, authorities said.

Officials reported Roth was previously convicted on federal weapons charges in 2013 in federal court. He has been serving out that sentence at the Elkton Correctional Institution. 

Maier said Roth, 66, did handyman work for Smith. 

But Glenn Borkowski, Smith's neighbor, said he had never seen the man before when reporter Homa Bash showed him the mugshot.

Borkowski and his wife were close to Smith, both had keys to each others homes. He said he was actually cutting down a tree for her on her property around the time of the murder.

"I wasn't scared, it just made me mad that I wasn't there to help her," Borkowski said.

Back then, he said he was even considered a person of interest.

"FBI took DNA and stuff, I said, 'This is a joke.' I said, 'You all know nothing or you wouldn't even be talking to me," Borkowski added. "I just hope they have the right guy."

Roth is being held without bond and will be arraigned soon.