Marion Police identify 81-year-old man found dead, arrest suspect for murder

Howard Biederman (family photo)

MARION, OH (WCMH) — The Marion Police Department is investigating a homicide after an elderly man was found dead Wednesday evening.

According to police, Howard Biederman, 81, was found covered in blood and unresponsive by a family member on the 300 block of Uncapher Avenue. When police and EMS arrived on the scene, the victim was pronounced dead. The cause of death has not yet been determined.

“We had visible physical injuries consistent with some type of assault,” said Marion Police Lt. B.J. Gruber.

Jackie Miller, 52, was initially arrested for crack cocaine possession, within walking distance from the homicide scene. She was later arrested for Biederman’s murder after an interview with police.

“He was a good neighbor. I’ve known him most of my life,” said neighbor Michael Wood.

He said Biederman was a kind-hearted man, who was generous and giving, even to the woman who police say killed him.

“He gave her food. He gave her water. I mean, anything. He was a nice guy,” said Wood.

Neighbors said Miller was living in a run-down home without water and electricity. She sometimes went door-to-door asking for help.

Still, Wood said he can’t think of a reason why anyone would want to hurt Biederman.

“Just heartbroken,” he said. “I feel sorry for his family.”

The victim’s family declined to speak with us on camera, but said Biederman was a beloved grandfather, great-grandfather, fisherman and veteran. He lost his wife a few years ago and just finished a battle with cancer.

“He was a good guy. He never bothered anybody,” said Wood. “I’m sorry he’s gone.”

Lt. Gruber said Miller is believed to be the only suspect.

“We developed some information pretty early on in this case and within about four hours of the original call, we had a person of interest,” he said.

Detectives are still trying to determine a motive for the murder.

“These cases are never easy for first responders or family victims, communities and neighborhoods, but certainly when it’s our vulnerable population, our elderly folks, our children… it just takes it to a whole new level,” said Lt. Gruber.

This is Marion’s first homicide in 2017.

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