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The Year in Review: Obih Murder

Adaobi Obih was found murdered in her apartment. / Photo: Adaobi Michaella Obih Memorial Scholarship Facebook Page
Adaobi Obih was found murdered in her apartment. / Photo: Adaobi Michaella Obih Memorial Scholarship Facebook Page

As we look back at some of the top stories of 2013, Bartholomew County experienced another murder in late November just months after four people were brutally murdered in Waynesville.

On Nov. 19, Columbus Police responded to River Stone Apartments on the city's west side after an employee there found the body of 26-year-old Adaobi Obih. The police report said Obih had unexpectedly missed work at Cummins earlier that week. Her boyfriend had also called police requesting a welfare check after not being able to get in touch with her.

After police arrived, they conducted a brief survey of the scene and determined Obih's death was suspicious. Police left the apartment, secured it and requested a search warrant.

Employees of the apartment complex said Obih shared the apartment with the alleged murderer, 36-year-old Ryan Allen Klug, of Columbus.

Police were able to execute a search warrant on Obih's apartment later that day. Detectives indicated that Obih's body had multiple knife wounds, including her throat being cut. A broken knife handle and blade, belonging to Obih, was found in the room where her body was found. Detectives also located a blood trail from the body, which they believe led to Klug's bedroom. They also said it appears that the assailant tried to clean up in Klug's bathroom, including taking a shower. Police found blood-soaked clothes in Klug's bedroom, including a pair of jeans that were identical to a pair clean jeans that were stored in Klug's room. Investigators also found a garage door opener in Klug's room.

Detectives went out of the apartment and observed a trail of blood from the apartment to an open garage that apartment staff said was rented by Obih specifically for Klug's use. Investigators also found blood on an interior door handle to the garage, as well as an apartment key they believe belonged to Obih. Klug's grey 2008 Subaru Legacy was not in the garage.

Investigators later interviews Klug's supervisor at INDOT, where he was employed. His supervisor told authorities that Klug had been acting strangely during the week prior to Obih's death. Just before 5 p.m. Sunday, the supervisor told investigators that Klug had texted her saying that he would be on vacation for the next two weeks. The supervisor said that was highly irregular of Klug and violated company policy. Attempts by the company to reach Klug went unanswered and he failed to show up for work Monday and Tuesday.

The affidavit also mentions that investigators contacted Klug's relatives. According to those interviews, Klug had recently gone through a bankruptcy and was having financial problems. He was also having problems with a former girlfriend.

A search for Klug began. He was ultimately taken into custody a few days later by U.S. Marshals in Galveston, TX.

Klug was recently brought back to Columbus and is lodged in the Bartholomew County Jail.

During his initial hearing Dec. 12 in Bartholomew Circuit Court, Klug indicated that he did not wish to proceed without legal representation. Judge Steve Heimann explained to Klug that legal representation is extremely rare for an initial hearing. He then explained that the hearing was merely to inform Klug of the charges facing him. Once Heimann finished his explanation, Klug relented and agreed to continue with the hearing.

During that hearing, which was held via video conference, Klug told Judge Steve Heimann that he intended to hire his own attorney. He also asked the judge for a list of Bartholomew County-based defense attorneys.

Heimann set an attorney status hearing for Jan. 6. He also scheduled a change of plea hearing for April 28 and an initial trial date for May 13.

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 6:11:52 AM

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