Tuscarawas Co: Woman stabbed, killed by intruder

Posted at 4:25 PM, Mar 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-18 05:43:09-04

The Tuscarawas County Sheriff's Office is trying to piece together a murder mystery unfolding in the small town of Midvale, where a woman was stabbed to death in her bed by an unknown intruder.

Chief Deputy Orvis Campbell said the 911 call came in around 4:10 a.m. on Thursday regarding a disturbance at a mobile home in Midvale Estates, a small town just east of New Philadelphia. The caller was a 17-year-old boy who lived in the home. 

"A guy broke inside my house and I think he killed my dad's girlfriend. And he was coming at me," the boy said to a dispatcher in a 911 call. He continued, stating the suspect didn't have a gun and he believed he stabbed his dad's girlfriend.

The boy told police he was asleep when he was awakened by loud screaming. Before he got out of bed, he grabbed a shotgun hanging on his bedroom wall and loaded it. He then went to investigate.

There was only one other person in the house--the boy's father's girlfriend, identified as Darlene Renner, 39. When the boy entered Renner's bedroom, he told authorities he saw an unknown man on top of Renner, striking or stabbing her. In a 911 call, the boy can be heard saying that there was "blood everywhere."

The boy told police he had a hard time describing the scene in the bedroom since the bed had been moved out of place and obstructed his view. 

The suspect froze when the boy saw him, police were told, and then attacked the boy. He said in a 911 call that he hit the suspect with his gun and punched him. Then the suspect escaped, got into the boy's father's truck, and took off. Isaac's father was not home at the time. 

Police said the shotgun the boy had was not fired. The intruder did take the gun away from him, but left it behind in the home. Police do not know what item was used by the intruder to stab Renner. 

The boy said he noticed when the suspect was running out of the house the front door was already open. He suspected the man came through the front door, but was unsure if it was locked. Police said there were not signs of forced entry.

It is unknown if Renner was sexually assaulted by the suspect, police reported. 

An autopsy for Renner is expected to be done by the Stark County coroner on Friday.

Neighbors in the tight-knit mobile home park described her as a woman with a heart of gold.

"The hardest part is that someone so sweet and so nice and innocent can have something so bad and tragic happen," Anna Kimmel, who lives across the street, said. 

The only description of the suspect was that he was a black man dressed in all black with a beard. He is still at large. In a 911 call, the boy also said the suspect was tall. 

Chief Deputy Campbell said the boy is currently incarcerated on an unrelated charge -- an arson last year -- but is not considered a suspect in this case at this point.

Tuscarawas Co. Sheriff's Office said sheriff's deputies were at the scene all day Thursday and will remain on scene throughout the night, processing the crime scene.

Police said home invasions are rare in the area. Midvale estates has a population of 754 people. They can not remember the last time there was a murder there. 

Reporter Homa Bash livestreamed the press conference through Facebook Live. Watch it below, on Bash's Facebook page or on the WEWS Facebook page


HAPPENING NOW: Homa Bash is LIVE at the press conference in Tuscarawas County regarding a home invasion. WHAT WE KNOW:

Posted by WEWS NewsChannel 5 - Cleveland/Akron/Canton on Thursday, March 17, 2016