WAVERLY, Ohio (WCMH) — Danielle Dyer sits among homemade photographs and posters, tributes to her younger brother Koby Roush, a spiral notebook on the couch nearby. She doesn’t want to leave out any details that might help bring Koby home, even though she’s sure he’s dead.
Those first few months after July 5, 2020, when police found 24-year-old Koby Roush’s car near Mt. Carmel Road near Jackson, Ohio, weren’t just painful for Dyer; they were terrifying.
“It threw my world into a whole other world – before it wasn’t so scary…for the first year we couldn’t sleep,” recalls Dyer, 38. “We thought people were going to burn down our house. We received death threats. We thought people were after us. Me, my sister and my brother all have concealed weapons.
“We were afraid for our lives. It was scary that people were able to do something like that,” Dyer said.
So-called “advice” aimed to hurt, not help
“Someone called [from New York] and tried to get a ransom that he was holding my brother hostage,” Dyer recalled. But when Dyer’s family asked a question that only Koby would know, the blackmailer couldn’t provide an answer. “It’s just horrible things people do, and we’re going through so much already.”
But the worst was this so-called advice: “That he had been fed pigs,” Dyer said. “We couldn’t sleep for weeks after that, imagining something like this happening to my brother.
« Put in barrels, thrown bridges, shot… kidnapped. All kinds of stuff,” she said of tips. “I don’t know what’s true, but we’re pretty sure he was shot.”
“I’m praying someone can find something.”
As children, Danielle and Kobe spent many days at the beach in Florida where they lived. They moved back and forth at first because of her dad’s jobs, then moved permanently to Somerset, Ohio when Danielle was 10 and Koby was 4. They had go-karts and dirt bikes – fond memories for Danielle.
Life took a turn when their mother passed away in 2018 from lung cancer.
Roush found solace in getting a back – a large tattoo that covers the back and can cost a good artist thousands of dollars. Koby owed money for that back and it may have sparked a fight, according to people who contacted Dyer.
“He was doing [the tattoo] for my mom and different things he was going through in life. That’s how he expressed his feelings,” Dyer said.
An older neighbor first gave Roush drugs to try in his early teens, Dyer recalled.
“Since that moment he has struggled a lot.” Dyer said his brother turned to drugs as an escape. “He said he didn’t have to think when he did it.
“He just struggled a lot because of different things that happened in his life. Much after my mother died, it was just to cover it up. Then he would feel guilty and he wanted to make her proud.
Roush kept trying to turn around. “Every time he has done something, he wants to hurry up and improve.” He checked himself into rehab, wanted to go back to school to become a therapist and took up boxing – with a fight scheduled for the week after his disappearance.
Dyer had planned to go to the boxing match to cheer on his brother.
A strange premonition
“The night before [Koby died] I dreamed that my mother was holding me, I was looking at a body of water and I felt something was wrong,” Dyer said.
“My dad got a call at 5 a.m. that morning [July 5, 2020] and Koby told my dad his car was stuck. They live about two hours from where Roush’s car was discovered on Mt. Carmel Road, Raccoon Township in Gallia County, according to Google Maps satellite view, so it was decided that Roush would call someone. one who lived closer.
“He said he was calling someone named Luke, and after that his phone broke, went to voicemail, we couldn’t reach him.”
Prior to that night of July 4, 2020, Roush was at a friend Paul’s. Dyer thinks his brother left with someone named Kody.
“And from there, we don’t know what happened. We heard all kinds of horrible things,” Dyer said.
A fight and a relapse
In his last message to a friend, Roush said he was on drugs again and was angry at his roommate for bringing drugs into the house.
Dyer played the message on his phone; it had been sent to him by the person who had received it.
Roush said in the post: “Dave and I had a fight and I’m moving out because he was getting high and putting it out there a little too much and I don’t want to be there.
“So it turned from that and I relapsed…anyway, just a big bunch of bull****. But it will be fine. I don’t care,” the post concluded.
An abandoned stationery
An officer found Roush’s car abandoned and called his father. “It was in an old paper mill, like tape pits. Someone just dropped it off, it looks like,” Dyer recalled.
But the next discovery had Dyer in pieces. “I found my mother’s ashes, and some kind of group [Koby] had on his hand.
“It was my mother’s ashes that he wore around his neck. He never took them off.
“They were next to the car. My husband picked them up in the sand and I burst into tears. Because I knew something was wrong with my brother – he was gone.
The only trick that remained
Of all the tips received by the family, only one person seemed legitimate.
“There was a lady who called me and my dad and she told me my brother was murdered in his truck,” Dyer said. “She went into detail. She told me about the people involved… she told me about a Sheriff Reader who was in the yard, and that she told him everything and begged the police to come and investigate and they didn’t.
“[She] mentioned [Koby] was shot in the head. They cleaned the truck with cleaner. She said the truck had all sorts of cleaners on it, smelled like bleach, and they came back later that morning – but she didn’t give the location of the body.
Dyer says the woman told him a person who was allegedly in the truck at the time of the murder was later found dead from a gunshot wound.
A call to hunters
For now, the family would like hunters and mushroom hunters to keep an eye out for Roush’s remains.
Koby’s last known location, where the family found their abandoned car, was 38°56’43.8″N 82°25’47.8″W at Mt. Carmel Road, Raccoon Township in Gallia County. It is close to an old paper mill.
The family has offered a $5,000 reward to help find Koby Roush. Anyone who may have information about the case is encouraged to call BCI at 855-BCI-OHIO (855-224-6446) or submit a missing person report through BCI’s website.
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