Ohio AG seeks help in WWII veteran's killing

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is seeking tips to help solve the killing of a World War II veteran in southern Ohio.

Agents with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation believe robbery may have been the motive in the Oct. 16, 2011, killing of Harry Smith in Chillicothe.

Investigators say the 89-year-old Smith, a Navy veteran and great-great grandfather, died of blunt-force trauma, after his house was set on fire.

"This man served his country in World War II, was an active member of his community, and deserved respect," said DeWine said in a news release.  "We strongly believe that someone knows who committed this brutal crime, and it is time for that person to come forward and help give this family some peace."

Smith's family has announced a new $5,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.

Smith's son, Jerry Smith, said in the news release that his murder "has been really hard on the family."

"It is something that never really leaves your mind," he said. It is with you like your breath is. It is a constant thing."

The award is on top of $5,000 being offered by the Ohio Fire Marshal's Office and a reward of up to several thousand dollars being offered by Southern Ohio Crime Stoppers.

Investigators say several items were removed from Smith's home before the fire.

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