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First murder in city’s history
Husband arrested for allegedly assaulting wife in Colony garage
By Beth Church
Murder charges are pending against a Rossford man who allegedly assaulted his wife in the garage of their Eagle Point Colony home last weekend.
Daniel Lambert, 52, of 411 Riverside Drive, was arrested early Saturday, May 16, and charged with felonious assault, a second-degree felony, police said.
His wife, Cathryn “Cat” Lambert, 51, died Sunday in the hospital from massive head injuries she sustained during what police believe to be a domestic violence incident.
Mr. Lambert appeared Monday for an arraignment in Perrysburg Municipal Court, with the Wood County prosecutor’s office indicating that additional charges will be filed.
He is being held in Wood County jail on a $500,000 bond.
A 9-1-1 call was received around 8 p.m. on Friday, May 15, from Mr. Lambert who said his wife was unconscious and bleeding in the garage of their home.
“It was readily apparent that it didn’t look accidental, it didn’t look like a fall,” Rossford Police Chief Glenn Goss said.
Rossford EMS transported Mrs. Lambert to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center. She was admitted in critical condition and died Sunday.
Rossford police are continuing their investigation with the assistance of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification.
“The evidence collected at the scene, along with statements obtained by the police and the initial medical information led to the arrest,” Chief Goss said.
Mr. Lambert was taken into custody at the hospital early Saturday morning.
“He was cooperative with the police at the hospital, but he elected not to be questioned any further when the questions became more detailed,” the chief said.
The Lucas County coroner’s office has ruled that Mrs. Lambert died from blunt force trauma.
“She was struck several times with an item that would be a weapon,” Chief Goss explained.
The Lamberts rented the home, which is owned by Frank and Rebecca Zemanski of Perrysburg Township.
They lived alone in the house, and have two adults sons who reside out of town.
The couple had been in Rossford for about three years, and previously were Toledo residents, according to the chief.
Chief Goss said his department has no record of previous calls for domestic disputes or violence at that address.
Mr. Lambert works at an area distribution center, the chief said.
Mrs. Lambert was the founder of the Wheresthe Cat.com website featuring a greater Toledo calendar of events, especially promoting local musicians and artists.
Her sons, Matthew and Michael Lambert, have created a gofundme.com account to collect donations for a memorial service.
“She was passionate about her website wheresthecat.com and the city where she lived, and enjoyed sharing stories about those that she worked with, and the friends she made in the community through that venture,” they wrote. “Our mom is going to be deeply missed by the many people who loved her.”
Any money raised above the cost of the memorial service will be donated to the Ohio Domestic Violence Network.
Chief Goss said this is the first murder in Rossford’s history in which a suspect was arrested.
Although the department does not have detailed records of it, he has heard that a murder-suicide took place during the 1970s but no one was arrested because the suspect and victim both died.
Mugshot of Daniel Lambert
Cries for help heard from garage
By Beth Church
On the evening Cathryn Lambert was fatally assaulted, shouting and cries of help were heard in her neighborhood– more than an hour before 9-1-1 was called.
The owner of a local lawn service business was mowing Friday evening at a nearby house on Riverside Drive.
Unloading his equipment between 6:15 and 6:30 p.m., he heard several raised voices.
“It’s always extremely quiet, and there’s no traffic there,” he noted. “I heard a man and then a higher-pitched voice, like a woman or kids. It went on for a couple minutes. But I couldn’t make out what they were saying.”
“I thought it was unusual because no one ever yells back there,” explained the man, who has mowed lawns in the Colony for 20 years.
However, when finished with the lawn about 7:45 p.m. and loading up his trailer, he again heard “some commotion.”
“I thought, ‘that’s the same guy’s voice,’” he said.
The person was crying, “help me, help me.”
The lawn maintenance man, who asked not to be identified, picked up his cell phone from his truck, and walked down the street to determine the location of the cries.
“It got quiet again, and then I heard, ‘help me, help me.’”
He then went down the driveway of the Lambert residence and into the garage through the open door.
“I came around the corner, and he [Daniel Lambert] was sitting on the floor next to her,” he recalled. “I could see her chest moving, she was breathing. She was lying in a big pool of blood.”
Mr. Lambert was on his cell phone. The man questioned whether it was 9-1-1 that he was calling, and Mr. Lambert responded that it was.
The witness decided he would call 9-1-1 to verify.
His cell phone first connected across the Maumee River to Lucas County 9-1-1, which redirected him to the Rossford dispatcher.
“I asked them if they were already on the phone with someone about what happened at 411 Riverside,” he explained, and the dispatcher responded that they were.
While waiting, he talked to Mr. Lambert.
“I asked him, ‘what happened here?’ He said, ‘I hadn’t seen her in awhile, and I came out to the garage and found her like this.’”
The lawn maintenance man then waited outside the garage to flag down police and EMS when they arrived.
Once they pulled in, he helped a Rossford police officer push one of the Lambert vehicles out of the garage to allow medical responders better access to her.
Upon leaving, the man encountered a neighbor who asked what was happening and why the police and EMS were there.
He explained about the tragedy, and then asked whether she had heard anyone yelling for help.
“She said she had, but she didn’t do anything,” he recalled. “I couldn’t believe that–that someone wouldn’t do anything to help.”
The Journal office in Perrysburg now has the following new hours of operation:
Monday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday-Friday: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Rossford lies at the heart of the Crossroads of America, an area experiencing tremendous economic growth, located at the crossroads of Interstate 75 and the Ohio Turnpike. The city's population of approximately 6,000 is primarily a mix of descendants of Polish, Czechoslovakian, German and Ukrainian workers who came from Pennsylvania to work at the glass plant, now Pilkington.
Rossford was incorporated as a village in 1939 and as a city in 1971. The City is a municipal corporation which operates under its own charter and is governed by a mayor and seven-member City Council. Rossford is served by full-time police and part-time fire departments, dispatched from the neighboring Village of Walbridge.
The City maintains a Community Recreation Center and three parks, one of which,Veterans Memorial Park, features a seasonal marina along with picnic areas and diamonds and courts for baseball, tennis, basketball and volleyball.
Rossford has three elementary schools, Glenwood, Indian Hills and Eagle Point, a junior high and high school and All Saints parochial school for grades pre-kindergarten through eight.
The city boasts a public library and many service and community organizations such as the Rossford Business Association, Lions Club and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Its Rossford Community Service League sponsors annual activities such as a Valentine's Day Dance, Easter egg hunt, Halloween, Memorial Day parades and their Christmas tree lighting.
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