Former Mentor police officer arrested after body found in his Mentor-on-the-Lake house

Ex-cop arrested after body found in home

MENTOR-ON-THE-LAKE, Ohio - A former Mentor police officer was arrested on tampering with evidence charges after a woman's body was found at his home in Mentor-on-the-Lake over the weekend.

According to a news release from Chief John Gielink of the Mentor-on-the-Lake Police Department, officers were called to the home at about 8 p.m. Sunday for a report of a body found in the garage.

Lake County Sheriff Dan Dunlap told NewsChannel5 that the body was found at 57-year-old Gary Stroud's home on Marine Parkway. He was taken into custody a short time later. The details of the charges have not been released yet.

Officers from MOL police and the Lake County Crime Lab executed a search warrant at the house Monday, according to Gielink.

Dunlap said Stroud retired from the Mentor Police Department about six to eight years ago, and then worked part-time as a special deputy for the sheriff's office from 2006 until September 2011. Dunlap said Stroud mostly worked with court security and there were no serious issues with his work.

Dunlap also said Stroud had no history of domestic violence or any other violence.

Gielink said the name of the person found dead is not being released pending the identification of the body and family notifications. But the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed the body is an adult female.

There has been no official confirmation on the body, but city leaders in Mentor-on-the-Lake told NewsChannel5 they've been told it could be former MOL City Council President Diane Stroud, Gary Stroud's wife.

"We're waiting for positive identification, but I think everyone probably assumes it's (Diane)," said MOL Councilman Troy Elam, who served with Diane.

Elam said Diane was a good councilwoman and the news the body could be her was shocking.

"She always had the city's best interest at heart," said Elam. "She loved the city."

The Strouds' neighbor told NewsChannel5 it's been a "couple of months" since he's seen Diane, but added that the Strouds kept to themselves.

The Lake County Coroner's Office was called to the scene and an autopsy was conducted in Cleveland Monday. The results of the autopsy have not yet been released.

Stroud is being held in isolation at the Lake County Jail, due to the seriousness of the charge, the sheriff said. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Mentor Municipal Court Tuesday at 9 a.m.

Two family pets were removed from the house Monday and released to the care of family members, Gielink said. The Lake County Humane Society was also called to the home to take care of several chickens that were kept in the backyard.

Keep checking for more information.

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