KIRTLAND HILLS, Ohio — It's a cold case frozen in time for three decades. A mild-mannered engineer found dead inside his car, shot execution-style twice in the head.
At his funeral, a mysterious woman makes a startling revelation to survivors, but later hires a lawyer and refuses to talk with police.
In our ongoing series "Someone Knows," 3News Investigates takes a look at the unsolved 1992 murder of Mentor's Raymond Timbrook.
Raymond was a recently divorced father of two teenaged boys and a successful engineer for CT Consultants, a prominent firm with expansive reach in Ohio and other parts of the nation. Bryon Timbrook remembers the night his mother woke him from his sleep and life forever changed.
Bryon was 18, a few months away from graduating high school and ready to follow his father’s footsteps by studying engineering at the Ohio State University.
"My mom came up and said, 'There's police downstairs," Bryon told 3News Investigates. "She just started crying. … That's when reality hit."
Fast-forward nearly 30 years, and Bryon Timbrook is still struggling to make sense of his father sudden and violent death.
"You can die from a broken heart," he said. "It doesn’t happen overnight; yt can happen years and years later."
It was Friday the 13th of March, 1992, when Kirtland Hills police found Raymond Timbrook slumped over the steering wheel of his Buick, the engine and heater still running. Two bullets pierced his skull, shot execution-style. No gun or DNA were left behind.
Back then, Hunting Hills was a barren development, nothing like the McMansions that dot the hillside today. That night, the landscape became home to a true crime whodunnit, ne that is seemingly gone from the forefront of police attention.
Raymond Timbrook, 44, was pensive, thoughtful, kind of a nerd. He was close to his sons, Bryon and Scott, and rarely missed a Little League game or a fishing trip. His divorce seemed to catch his wife by surprise, but he also held a closely-guarded secret that emerged during visitation at a local funeral home.
"All I wanted was answers, and for my dad not to share that kind of stuff, something wasn't making sense," Bryon recalled.
That secret delivered a stunning twist revealed during the funeral when a beautiful young blonde woman — a stranger to the family — announced to mourners that she and Raymond were engaged.
"It was pretty traumatic and shocked a lot of people," Bryon remembered. "A lot of people."
Those would be the woman's last words on Timbrook. Bryon, young and eager for answers, invited her to the post-funeral meal with family, but relatives urged her to leave. Afterward, as detectives came knocking with questions, the fiancée lawyered up, refusing to cooperate.
Police at the time said the woman was also a CT engineer, and rumors swirled of an alleged love triangle involving another CT executive. By this time, the Lake County Sheriff's Office and then-County Prosecutor Steve LaTourette were aiding the inexperienced Kirtland Hills police. They were insistent that love killed Timbrook, and for good reason.
Detectives wanted to know why that CT executive invited Timbrook to meet him at Hunting Hills the night of the killing. To this day, they're still wondering: The executive, like the fiancée, retained a lawyer and refused to cooperate.
Days turned into weeks, weeks into months. Years passed, and the case drew cold.
"It's a very cold case," current Kirtland Hills Police Chief Barry Hendricks, who took the post just over five years ago, said. He admitted there's been no movement, no tips, on the case.
To the Timbrook family, all of whom remember the promises of prosecutors and police that their father's death would never be forgotten and will one day be solved, there is a feeling of betrayal by law enforcement. While they believe the fiancée and executive know something, they don't believe the love triangle had anything to do with the murder. Rather, Bryon Timbrook believes his straight-laced father knew something nefarious, something related to work or some road project.
"Greed," Bryon stated.
Whatever Raymond knew, his son said, could've meant prison for people, so Bryon believes his father was shot to death by a hired gunman and people who know something are either unwilling or too afraid to stand up. That list, he contends, includes law enforcement.
"I don't think they want to know the truth," Bryon explained. "I think they know the truth, they know what happened, but they're not going to go any further than where we're at right now."
Anyone with information on the Timbrook slaying may call Kirtland Hills police at (440) 974-9090.