Akron man questioned in local killings

By Deanna Hohler Bottar Record-Courier staff write Published:

About a week and a half ago, two Portage County hunters, Duane and William Lockard, ages 60 and 61, suffered similar deaths while on a hunting trip in Harrison County near Tappan Lake, about 60 miles southeast of Portage County.

Investigators are looking into a connection between Danny H. Jenkins, 51, of East Akron, who was charged last weekend with the Lockard brothers' deaths, and the 1993 slayings of Hussey and Watters.

Portage County authorities also have questioned Jenkins concerning a third unsolved Portage County murder _ a "Jane Doe" case of a woman, whose body was found nude and decaying near the Berlin Reservoir in 1994.

Jenkins confirmed Sunday that he was one of the first people to see the woman's body in a secluded wooded area off of Fewtown Road in Deerfield, near where Hussey and Watters were shot and killed about a year earlier, Portage County Sheriff Duane Kaley said.

Jenkins spoke to a Record-Courier reporter in 1994 at the scene of the Jane Doe murder investigation, graphically describing how the woman was positioned when he saw her. He previously was not considered a suspect in the case, Kaley said.

"Jenkins just happened to be someone who was down there," Kaley said. "He never approached the authorities when he was down there nor did we come in contact with him.

"He more or less indicated that he was out there hunting pheasant, which a great deal of the hunters are when they turn the pheasants loose," Kaley continued. "He said he was walking by there and viewed the remains of the Jane Doe that we have. He went over to a hunter and asked him if he had a phone and called the authorities."

Until Jenkins' arrest on Saturday, Kaley said each of the Deerfield-area murders was being investigated separately.

"We investigated each case on its own, which you do until you get some great link to them," Kaley said. "We intend to have some more conversations with this individual. So far, he's been cooperative in engaging in dialogue."

Florida officials also are investigating a possible connection between Jenkins and the murders of two hunters there in November 1993. Jenkins previously lived in Florida.

Deer hunter Don Hill, 63, was killed Nov. 19, 1993, while in a deer stand in Osceloa National Forest in Clay County. He also was shot in the head, and his wallet was stolen.

Five days later, Gregory Allen Wood, 35, was shot in the back with a shotgun as he waited along a deer trail in the Camp Blanding Wildlife Management Area in adjacent Baker County. No shell casings were left behind, and Wood's wallet also was missing.

Investigators initially said theft was believed to be the motive for the deaths of the Lockards, whose bodies were found about a half-mile apart Nov. 2. The brothers were carrying about $5,000 between them. The money has not yet been recovered.

In a search of Jenkins' Akron apartment, police seized 21 photos, some of which depicted hunters, according to court documents. The photos will be shown to Florida investigators to determine whether the hunters are the Florida victims.

Jenkins was a close friend of the Lockards, and witnesses have placed him and his vehicle in the Tappan Lake and Cadiz area around the time of the shootings.

The Lockard brothers were shot once time each in the back with a 12-gauge shotgun.

Jenkins was charged with two counts of aggravated murder on Saturday and remains held without bond in the Tuscarawas County Jail, west of Harrison County, which does not have its own jail.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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