FREMONT- Sandusky County Sheriff’s Capt. Detective Sean O’Connell said this week that the department still needs more evidence in the 25-year-old murder of Isabel Cordle.
At 10 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 15 an episode of TNT’s “Cold Justice” will concentrate on the murder that occurred on 1350 W. Main St., Bellevue, in 1988 - then outside the Bellevue city limits in York Township.
The episode description is as follows:
“In the early morning hours of January 24, 1988, 49-year-old mother of six Isabel Cordle fell asleep on her couch watching TV. Sometime before 6:00 A.M., someone sneaked up on her while she slept and hit her on the head with a hatchet four times. She died on the couch, never waking from her slumber. Her husband found her the next morning as he prepared to go to work and called 911.
“When the police arrived, Isabel’s husband and three of her children were upstairs, scared and confused. Police not only found trails of blood, they also found what could have been the murder weapon: a hatchet, propped up on a tree outside, right by the door. Why would the murderer leave the hatchet in plain sight? Were they trying to set someone up? Or did the murderer leave it there and then run back in the house?”
Earlier this summer, the Cold Justice crew visited the Bellevue area to film the site of the murder and conduct interviews. O’Connell said there is interest in the victim’s husband and a woman whom he married months after Isabel Cordle’s murder. The sheriff’s office was asking for information from anyone who had worked at Vandresser, a plant in Norwalk 25 years ago - where the victim’s husband also worked.
“We have located quite a few persons at Vandresser,” O’Connell said this week. “Whether we have enough to go to a grand jury, I would have to say no.”
O’Connell said he could not discuss details of DNA tests and other evidence in the case as part of an agreement with the TNT program.
According to O’Connell and reports from The Bellevue Gazette from 25-years-ago, Isabel Cordle returned home late that night from bingo, she sent her children to bed, changed into her pajamas, got something to eat and fell asleep in her living room.
The 49-year-old woman was found murdered in a sleeping position on her couch, and the county coroner at the time estimated the time of her death to between 1 to 2 a.m. on Jan. 24. The Gazette reported the victim’s husband told law enforcement at the time that he awoke to the TV still on and found her lying on the coach with the front door wide open.
This summer, sheriff’s deputies have been looking for former workers of the now closed Vandresser automotive plant where Richard Cordle and Sue Thompson worked at the time of the murder.
Richard Cordle married Thompson in 1988 and the two now reside in Fort Wayne, Ind., O’Connell reported.