Posted: 4:10 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ryan Widmer might get to pay last respects to mom

By Denise G. Callahan

Staff Writer


It appears Ryan Widmer might be able to pay his last respects to his mother, but not attend her funeral.

Widmer’s attorney, Michele Godsey, said she has spoken with the Ohio Department of Corrections and there is a chance he could come home for the funeral. She said she is trying to make that happen, however, the rules governing inmate visits to death beds and funerals only allow the prisoner to have a private viewing, not attend the service.

Widmer’s father Gary said officials at the funeral home handling Jill Widmer’s body would need to know by noon Wednesday if they are going to arrange a viewing at the private funeral on Saturday. Widmer said there is also the issue of cost. The inmate or his or her family are responsible for the costs incurred in transporting a prisoner.

“There is unfortunately an expense involved with that. It’s a cash only expense to get him here,” Gary Widmer said. “And I don’t know, the state that she was found in, according to Ayran, it’s not like it’s one of those things he might want to even see.”

Jill Widmer was found dead in her Mason home on Monday. The police report indicated she had been dead for some time and that Ryan Widmer’s twin brother, who found her, said he last received a text from his mom on July 22.

Preliminary autopsy results show heart and liver disease, but until toxicology tests come back, coroner’s investigator Doyle Burke said investigators won’t know for sure how she died. He said he doesn’t think she committed suicide but nothing can be ruled out until the tests come back, probably in about six weeks.

“It’s going to be some natural process, there is no foul play,” he said. “She was on a lot of medication. She could have mixed up her medication for all we know.”

Widmer’s parents, who are divorced, have been staunch supporters and have always maintained their son is innocent. They spent nearly $500,000 defending him in three murder trials in Warren County over the drowning death of his bride, Sarah, in 2008. Widmer’s mom could not even attend the third trial in 2011 because, as her sister said, “This has ruined her.”

Widmer said his son seems to be handling his mother’s death as well as can be expected. He said his ex-wife had turned into a recluse and nobody was able to help her deal with the pain of going through what she has endured since Widmer was arrested.

“It’s one of those unfortunate things that he knew, I knew, Ayran knew, everybody knew, this whole ordeal was taking such a vivid toll on her health, her mental state,” he said. “In essence, it wasn’t totally unexpected… The writing was on the wall, if nobody could get her to get her act together, something bad was going to come of it.”

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