Special offer

Realtor murdered in Ohio

Real Estate Agent with Aero City Realty


If you have not already heard a couple of REALTOR Members of the Youngstown Columbiana Association of REALTORS were victims of crime commited by 3 white males between the ages of 20-30 starting last Thursday.


One of my members went to show a vacant apartment where upon arriving she was held at gunpoint for over an hour by 3 males.  These males wanted money but she did not have any on her.  They did talk about killing her but must have been scared off by people in the area so they left the property.  She was not harmed physically.  She is so very very lucky. 


Then on Monday, this week, a member broker was called to show a vacant house on the city's Eastside.  This member, Vivian Martin, age 67, was found in the house unrecognizable at the time.  We have now been informed that Vivian's neck was broken and that she was set on fire. 


Later I heard about the REALTOR in Portage County found dead in a vacant home.


The good news is that all 3 males have been apprehended.  Investigation is ongoing though to see if they are tied in to the Portage murder.


I want to thank those of you that have contacted me personally expressing your concern and offers to help in any way.  


I sent out blast emails to my members during the last few days first when the holdup occurred last week, advising members to be on the alert for a male saying he was from out of town calling to see vacant house who could not leave a call back number because he said his call phone was broken.  


These males were in several of my members' open houses this past weekend but did not have the opportunity to do harm to the REALTORS holding these open houses. 


One of the 3 males would show up at an open house, say they had to go get food for someone in their car, ask when the open house was over, then ask the REALTOR if they would stay until he could get back.  Then he came back at the end of the open house with the other 2 males.  


Please stress to all your members to think and practice safety at all times.   This is a wake up call for everyone!!!  


Sharyn Braunstein
Chief Executive Officer
Youngstown Columbiana Association of REALTORS®
5405 Market Street, Youngstown, OH 44512
330-788-4329 Fax

Comments (7)

Ellie McIntire
Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate - Ellicott City, MD
Luxury service in Central Maryland

What a terrifying situation to be working in. We must understand that our job can be dangerous and our safety is very important. So sorry for the family of the lady who lost her life.

Sep 22, 2010 07:27 AM
Pat Fenn
Marketing Specialist for CJ Realty Group/Cindy Jones Broker - Springfield, VA

Safety should always be a top priority for Realtors®.  I'm sorry to hear that your association lost 2 members to violent crime.

Sep 22, 2010 07:29 AM
Susan Laxson CRS
Palm Properties - La Quinta, CA
Realtor in San Diego, CA & Naples, FL

Trust your instincts and always have back-up - unfortunately, it seems like this is happening more and more.  Be safe.  ~ Susan

Sep 22, 2010 07:32 AM
Mary Sitton Real Estate Team
Mary Sitton Real Estate Team - - Hendersonville, NC
Realtor® - Western North Carolina

What a terrible act committed on professionals trying to make a living.  What a wake-up call for us all.

Sep 22, 2010 07:34 AM
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

Knowing who you are meeting at VACANT properties is a MUST...cel #, phone # and names.  If something FEELS off about the prospects, leave the area.  I always park so I can exit the property FAST!!

Sep 22, 2010 07:34 AM
Barbara Le Pine
ADVANTAGE REAL ESTATE, serving Lincoln County - Newport, OR
Your agent for the Central Oregon Coast!

This is distressing news. Our Lincoln County Board of Realtors had a meeting last Thursday with safety as the topic of discussion. A sheriff spoke at the meeting and gave us safety tips such as never holding an open house alone.  This really hits home today.

Thanks for getting the word out, we all need to be as careful as possible. These men likely acted very friendly to the agents at the open houses, which makes it even more scary.

Sep 22, 2010 07:36 AM
Mike McCann Nebraska Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farm & Commercial Land Broker-Auctioneer Serving Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm & Commercial Property For Sale 308-627-3700

I am surprised I have not seen more on AR...maybe it was there and I missed it...a definite wake up call to always always always prequal your buyers at your office...

Sep 24, 2010 04:21 AM