Bloody, naked body found in Ohio shed
Police in Columbus, Ohio, investigate the discovery of a bloodied, naked man in a garden shed Monday.
January 18th, 2011
11:22 AM ET

Bloody, naked body found in Ohio shed

Police in Columbus, Ohio, are trying to identify and retrace the final hours of a naked, bloody man found dead in a backyard garden shed.

Someone had knocked on neighbor Dennis Hoover's door at midnight, but Hoover refused to open the door because he couldn't see the man, he told CNN affiliate WBNS-TV.

Hoover called 911 but police could not find anyone, the station reported. Bloody handprints were visible on Hoover's door in the morning.

After daylight, Hoover followed footprints in the snow into a neighbor's yard, where he discovered the bloodied body in the shed.

"He was covered (in blood). It looked like he went through a briar patch," Hoover told WBNS. "Just scratched all up."

Investigators were hoping an autopsy would tell them who the man was and how he was injured.

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Filed under: Crime • Ohio • U.S.
soundoff (333 Responses)
  1. Liza Null

    Oh dear Lord. What a horrible way to die, cold, in shock, in terrible pain. And in the freezing cold. Oh God.

    January 18, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • heyGargleface

      "Hoover refused to open the door because he couldn't see the man"

      Imagine someone knocks on your door at midnight, you wake up, stumble out of bed, drag ass to the front door.. you think a bloody, freezing, dying man is going to still be standing there waiting?

      January 18, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pamela


      I would not have opened the door either. What your comment be if the news story were, man killed by man who shielded himself and knocked on residential doors until a victim responded? I have 2 young kid in my house and a responsibility to them and myself. My best case assumption would be that it was a teen prank and I very well might not call the police.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • *_*

      That man is a coward. At least call out and see who is out there. You don't have to open the door. The man who died was probably a victim of a mugging or beating just trying to get help to call 911.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • jazzy

      How often those late night door knockers are someone waiting to push your door in. Hoover did the right thing. He called the police, anyone who calls him a coward is an ass

      January 18, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      @garglehead–what makes you think he is a coward. There is no requirement, legal or moral, to open your door to an uninvited stranger at any time of day or night. In my neighborhood I would not open the door at night unless the visitor had called ahead and I was expecting him/her. In this day of home invasions being reported on frequently there should not have been any expectation of some one answering the door.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bert

      For all you people who are illiterate, the article states that the man called 911, the proper thing to do in a case like this. THe man is hardly a coward.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • nepawoods

      A knock at your door at midnight, you look and see nobody there. I doubt those crying "coward" would have done differently.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephen Sanders

      Howww-oooh ... Werewolves of Columbus again.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • drwelby

      This is what we've come to, after years of fear mongering and perpetual paranoia. Sometimes the boogie man is outside the door, but more likely it's someone in need – and this time we turned him away.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • qanerd

      Garglehead; You name is very apt. You can't see someone pounding on your door and you would open it at midnight? I don't think your ever going to be mistaken for a genius

      January 18, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike Dalton

      why couldn't the police find him that night?

      January 18, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      He did call the police and they did what was apparently not a thorough search. If bloody hand prints and trail were visible in the morning, you'd think the police might have noticed that. I can't believe no one saw that on the door. I think it is very hard to criticize the person for not opening the door. If something had happened to him, people here would say, what an idiot for opening his door in the middle of the night. The police should have looked more closely.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |

      Coward? Sorry people, some of us don't live on Mayberry.. a knock on my door at midnight? I'd do exactly what this man did, call 911 and let them figure out what's going on. I don't want my family the one on the front page news the next day, family dead by home invasion... you wouldn't be calling me coward then you would be calling me stupid...

      January 18, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lindsay

      To those calling Hoover a coward: How do you know the bloody handprints on the door were left by the deceased, and not the murderer (if this was a murder)? Or how do you know that the deceased was not having some kind of psychopathic fit? If he got hit in a car accident, why on earth would he be naked?! Sounds like something out of the ordinary went on.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sjw530

      So.. first person jumps to the conclusion that it was Hoovers fault because he didn't open the door. Well neither would I and secondly there is SNOW in Ohio and the police could have easily grabbed a couple flash lights and.. I don't know track the bloody prints in the snow that night. They instead waited until daylight. Poor judgement.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yo Adrienne

      My grandmother opened the door for a woman in the middle of the night – they beat her, tied her up and robbed her.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      Garglehead .... yeah right ... you get a knock at midnight at your door and even though you CANT SEE HIS FACE ... you'll just open it up ???? I hope you have no kids 'cause they are in real danger from a freak like you .

      January 18, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      "Oh dear Lord. What a horrible way to die, cold, in shock, in terrible pain. And in the freezing cold. Oh God."

      And in Ohio!

      January 18, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • K C

      Seriously...To all of those calling Hoover a coward...Would YOU open the door at midnight NOT knowing who it is pounding on your door? Of course not. Hoover was doing what he had to to protect himself incase it was someone trying to harm him. At least Hoover called 911, even though the police seemed like they did nothing.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      Garglehead, before posting maybe you should work on your reading comprehension. The man called police and they searched and couldn't find anyone. Not opening the door at midnight is not being a coward it's being smart and safe.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • toGargle

      OK, Gargle – you open the door for bloody naked guys when they knock. Here in Houston, if you do that in the middle of the night, people (multiple – how brave ARE you Gargle) rush in with guns and tie you and your family up, rob you blind, and MIGHT leave you alive. Game?

      January 18, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • jane

      if the police responded why didnt they see the bloody hand print on the door. i know it was dark but they do have flash lights couldnt they have done what the resident did at the time of the call????

      January 18, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • MAClay

      People this man did the correct thing and just because the artical didn't state that he asked "Who is it?" dosen't mean that he didn't. He did call the police and if they didn't check for foot prints or see the bloody hand print on the man's door that was their fault. Had this man done nothing but gone back to bed then I would also say that he was wrong but he did call the police. I keep rembering a quote from my youth, "It's better to be an alive coward than a dead hero."

      January 18, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • ak2k

      Sounds like the knock on the door was this man (unable to stand) trying to get help, and you can't blame the hmowner for not answering...

      January 18, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • outinthecold

      Liza Null is a numb-skull

      January 18, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • A CNN Reader

      Dying of cold you actually become numb and dont feel anything, then you fall asleep never to wake up... once you get past the shivering part, its really a calm way to go....

      January 18, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • TCP

      @ Dr. Welby – WE didn't turn anyone away. WE made a sound and logical decision based on what was presented to US. I open my door for NO ONE at that time of the night, EVER. This man did right, the police are slightly culpable...

      January 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tawny Marie

      What? A calm way to go? Assuming you're still alive I take it you haven't died by freezing to death yet...Yeah I'm sure it's just peachy.... FAIL.

      January 18, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • specter

      Basic police work wfail

      January 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Garglehead

      I guess I should have mentioned I wouldn't have opened the door either. Except for the fact that my 45 would have been there with me. I hope one day each and every one of you that busted my chops for calling the dude a coward needs help one night ooohhhh say around midnight....and you knock and knock and no one comes. And before you bother calling me a gun nut…I left my guns on the kitchen table all weekend one weekend. Know what….they didn’t shoot one person. Why is it that everyone else has a gun that kills people when mine just sit and wait for someone to pull the trigger?

      January 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. clark

    Typical Ohio police, "we'll track his footprints in the morning." God forbid it's an actual armed perp. Thank God Ohio has more state troopers per capita than any other state in America. Keeping y'all safe!

    Safety first!

    January 18, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • joe

      obviously you can't comprehend what was written in the article. The police did not follow the footsteps, the neighbor who had a knock on his door at midnight followed the footprints and found the man in the shed. get a life bro.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • JYII

      Huh? The footprints were tracked by the homeowner whose door was knocked on the night before. The police were called in the morning to the body that was already found by the homeowner. Nothing done wrong by the police here, they were called in the morning, they came in the morning...

      January 18, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • specter

      The cops saw bloody hand prints at night.homeowner found Guy in the morning. ...the cops suck

      January 18, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • bob

      No, it appears that after the knocking in the middle of the night the homeowner called the cops, the cops came and some how did not see the bloody hand print or the bloody footprints and left. The next morning the homeowner went outside and saw the bloody hand print and foot prints and followed them to the body. It very well may be that the person may have had a chance of surviving if the homeowner had opened the door (which he shouldn't have, he did the right thing by calling the cops) or the cops were able to see the blood on the door and find him before he died in the shed.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • JYlookagain

      from the article "Hoover called 911 but police could not find anyone, the station reported. Bloody handprints were visible on Hoover's door in the morning."

      Hoover called that night, note that the police "could not find anyone", if they were called after the body was discovered, then obviously this sentence would not have a place in the article.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elmer Gantry

      Clark, you must be from the southside of the Ohio River.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • ellz

      In reading other sources, this man knocked on several doors pleading for help, bled on several homes and could be heard all over the neighborhood. The police were called that night but did not search hard enough to find this person in the shed where he took shelter before he succomed to the elements. It was not until the home owner came home for lunch that anyone saw the blood on other homes and finally followed the tracks to the shed.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dante

    Can't blame the police for not finding him... but if he had stayed outside maybe he could have gotten to a hospital in time. I bet he was trying to keep warm. I wonder what the heck happened to him.

    January 18, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      why? if they found a bloody hand print and foot prints during they day – why couldn't they find them that night? don't they have flashlights?

      January 18, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • wayne

      yes you can. if they would have done there job (stick their noses into everything with hopes of stealing) they would have found him that night.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • RamRod

      Yeah Mike. thats the first thing that pops into everyone's mind: "Lets look for footprints even though it was probably some kids f""ing around".

      January 18, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • jack

      Don't be silly. The flashlights are for cracking civilians over the head with. The cops are unaware they emit light.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • myklds

      Yeah RamRod...The Police might have thought that "it was just a kid f***king around OR it was just a frank."

      The Police had just UNDERSTIMATED the situation while it must have been taken SERIOUSLY.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • THX

      I'm with you, Mike. This is a really weird story. The man hears knock on his door at night. He can't see anyone so he doesn't open the door. Okay. Makes sense. I might assume a prank if the same thing happened to me.

      But then he calls 911? Why? What sort of knocking was it that it would scare him so badly that he didn't want to open the door and felt the need to call 911? And if the knocker was no longer at the door when cops showed up, why wouldn't they have noticed the blood on the door? If the footprints leading from the door were clear enough for the home owner to follow the next day, why didn't the cops notice them when they were there *looking* for someone?

      This is all very weird.

      January 18, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. BeccaNJ

    I think the home owner did the right thing by not opening the door and calling 911, but honestly–how sad that no one noticed the bloody hand prints on the door before it was too late. Very sad.

    January 18, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • josh

      i doubt the "bloody hand prints" looked anything like what you're probably imagining in SAW, and would easily be overlooked at night as its nothing they would be looking for in the first place.

      cops were called to look for someone hanging around the guy's house, they're cops, not CSI

      January 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      Most folks I know would not open the door at night like this. there is such a thing as home invastions, I would call the police, in fact I bet the police would tell people not to open the door like this. Its got nothing to do with bravery, you have to have common sense, had he known who was there and needed help, he would have opened the door but he did right by calling the police. one never knows. Jane

      January 18, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Look Closer...

      maybe it was the killer knocking at the door

      January 21, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. doc

    he probably got injured, needed some help, ended up in the shed for shelter... died by hypothermia... he was naked because the late stages of hypothermia has this paradoxical undressing due to sensation of intense heat due to vasodilation.

    January 18, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • josh

      both of you are looney, the guy was hepped up on goofballs and went streaking through what he thought was an indoor soccer arena but in fact was the local greenhouse, he took a dive in the cacti portion of the greenhouse and ran to this other guy's house looking for some bandaids

      January 18, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • JT

      I think you are correct, I had almost forgotten that sometimes victims of hypothermia shed their clothing in their dying minutes. This is very sad and it's hard to blame the police. A 911 call about knocking on someone's door isn't going to be much of a priority and if the police didn't see anyone lurking around the neighborhood they probably moved on to other calls.

      January 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Alina77

    I wonder, could he be safe if the man in the house wasn't so scared and opened the door.

    January 18, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Yes, but opening the door late at night for a stranger is far more likely to be of harm the home owner than it is to help an injured person. He called the police which was smart either way. Its a sad world we live in, but its the only one we have.

      January 18, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark, Toronto

      Alina I think in this case even the police would agree he did the right thing. He did call police, they did respond, but it seems they looked around but didnt really look all that hard.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Turtle Soup

      I am sure that you would be the first one to call a homeowner stupid if they opened the door to a stranger in the middle of the night and were robbed and killed. The homeowner did exactly the right thing, even if some of you claim that you would do the stupid thing. Not that I really beleive that you would. Everyone on the internet is always bigger, stronger, smarter, and more beautiful than their real self.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Grumpster

    Surely, we'll find that his demise is cause to be placed on Darwin Awards.

    January 18, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Don't call me "Shirley"

      January 18, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • James

      Don't call me Shirley.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Teresa

      Don't call me shirley...haha I needed that laugh. Too funny. I would not have opened the door either if I could not see who it is. Too bad the society we are in. Even if he wasn't a perp the bad guy could have been out there chasing him. So sad. This poor man will always have to live with the though, "if i would've just opened the door".

      January 18, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sweetenedtea

      You can call me Shirley. It's not actually my name, but I'm flexible.

      January 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. doc

    the owner definitely did the right thing by not opening the door.. he did call 911... i dont see how he could possibly had done better than that... as to how the bloody handprint was not detected.. who knows.. that's really unfortunate, though.

    January 18, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. Aaron

    well im ready to move to a new state seems like ohio is making headlines left and right with gruesome stories

    January 18, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      Don't go to Florida, though...

      January 18, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Columbus Resident

      Well, with the new Republican Governor in, this may be a vision into the future of this state. Columbus is already Detroit's annex to the south. Columbus Police probably did a whole lot of looking, maybe to the end of the sidewalk. But that's about it.. I am not surprised.

      January 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Another Columbus Resident

      @Columbus Resident
      Nice jab there on the new gov. How about the same stupid nonsense that happened with the last gov (dem) and what about that other one before him (rep)? Don't make it sound like it is the fault of Kasich all of a sudden. How about doing a favor to this Columbus Resident and you move to Detroit.

      January 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wow

      If you are accustomed to having the Governor monitor and control local police departments, maybe it was a good thing you had a change in state leadership!

      January 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jim

    Good police work... missed bloody handprint on the door and footprints in the snow... I bet if it had been powdered sugar from a donut on the door they would have tracked the guy to Siberia.

    January 18, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • sciguy73


      January 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • T-Luv

      That was Pure Comedy my good sir.

      In regards to the story however, quite unfortunate indeed.

      January 18, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Thomas

    The homeowner did the right thing. Home invasions in the Columbus area, starting with a knock on the door, are certainly not a daily occurrence but they are too common.

    January 18, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jeff

    Truly horrifying. It is a sad state of affairs that we are too scared to open our doors. In this case that fear surely contributed to this man’s death.

    January 18, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • JT

      Way to jump to conclusions there cheif. If I were to be so presumptuous I would at least address the fact that he was covered in wounds, though he did likely succomb to exposure.

      January 18, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. sparks

    Ohio was a nice place i moved here to get away from east coast crime and raise my family . now the unemployment is really around 20% and crime has risen ten fold !! every night i watch the local news and im shocked !!! we all look to the goverment to look out for us and they only look out for its self . i hope for better thing for our selves

    January 18, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      Well that's just patently untrue. Murders in Ohio have dropped by about 20% since their peak in the late 70s and early 80s. Same with robberies and assaults. And all despite modest growth in population.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terri

      Why in God's sake would you have chosen Ohio to move too in the first place?

      January 18, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Aghast

    un flippin belivable..... Someone knocks on my door at midnight, i'm answering with my xp.45 in my hand...not peering thru the window curtains and hoping the police find the mysterious knocker. Yes he did the right thing and called 911..but that man could still be alive if the home owner had 'a pair' and opened the fricken door. Open, assess the situation, and react...HOW much of a threat is a weak, bloody, naked man who is freezing. Oh, and to those that defend the police, I am ex police retired, and I can tell you that LE now days are too lazy and cushy. do some damn investigation work BEFORE it becomes a Body.

    January 18, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • nordicmetalhead

      ..and if he didn't have an XP45 or lived in a state where owning one was either highly regulated or outright forbidden? How will he defend his "pair", then?

      January 18, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      You'll answer the door "with my xp.45 in my hand"? Which "pair" do you have that the homeowner didn't have?

      January 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Luna

      Easy to say, much harder to do especially if you're not a retired cop or former military, and most citizens do not own handguns, at least the ones I know. If the guy who knocked had called out that he needed help, please call the police, I'm hurt, and stayed on the porch he may still be alive. If, if, if.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      Well Quick Draw McGraw, if the person outside had bad intentions, he would still have the jump on you and your xp whatever. Hindsight when it was someone else is always 20:20.

      January 18, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Holdupaminute

    Anybody read "The Time Travelers Wife"?

    January 18, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Poor Henry!

      January 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
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