Family still seeking answers in Yellow Springs homicide

The father of Leonid “Lonya” Clark, the Yellow Springs man whose body was discovered by the river last month, believes someone knows what happened to his adopted son.

Eric Clark spoke this week for the first time to this news organization since Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer announced that the 26-year-old’s death is being investigated as a homicide.

Eric Clark said that since his son’s body was found April 12 by the river in the Glen Helen Nature Preserve, it’s been “stressful to say the least,” in part because he’s not able to talk about everything he knows for fear of jeopardizing the integrity of the investigation.

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“I think really deep in our hearts we knew that it was not going to end well,” Eric Clark said. “There still isn’t closure. We have the body and we have his remains, but we don’t have all the answers.”

He said sheriff’s investigators have told them certain details of what they know so far that they can’t discuss.

“The most difficult part of all this is knowing what we do know and not be allowed to say anything about it,” he said. “There’s a lot of anger involved with that, and it’s hard to talk about.”

The only details from the investigation that have been released so far is that Lonya Clark’s body was found in a decomposed state on the bank of the Little Miami River. He was fully clothed, but his body showed evidence of injuries inflicted by another person.

Fischer said it appears the body was dumped upstream from where it was found, which was about a quarter-mile from the Grinnell Road bridge southeast of the village of Yellow Springs.

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“Lonya was a very bright, friendly child … No matter where he went or who he saw, everyone was happy to see him,” Eric Clark said. “The thing that we’re not talking about is a very typical, almost family-like, small town situation where nobody wants to get anybody else in trouble, and that right now I think is a huge mistake. Nobody deserves that. He doesn’t deserve it.”

The Clarks are planning a memorial service June 1 at the First Presbyterian Church of Yellow Springs.

If you have information that can help in the investigation, call the sheriff’s office tip line at (937) 562-4819.


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