Murder of Cleveland mother took place at an ‘after-hours location’ known to police, operating on government property
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - There are new developments in the murder of a young mother at a local after-hours club.
19 News investigators discovered the “club” is actually on government-owned property, and the illegal parties there have been going on for years.
We found records that show Cleveland Police have known about the illegal establishment for years.
So why hasn’t anything been done to shut it down before the tragedy that happened there over the weekend?
Sunday morning, 27-year old Shameia Hurth was murdered outside of the bright red building on Woodhill Road.
Her family’s created this GoFundMe account for her funeral expenses. And, her three young girls are left without their mother.
Their grandmother, Linda Foster, had to explain what happened.
“I took a deep breath and I started crying and I said, 'Mommy is here, and I pointed to my heart, I said mommy is here," Foster said. “I am so empty. I am so hurt."
Hurth’s death lead to many questions about why people were gathered at the building on Woodhill Road in the first place.
In the police report from Sunday, officers wrote it is a "known after hours location,” meaning people gather there in the overnight hours, after bars and clubs close to keep the party going.
It’s illegal even without pandemic restrictions that close down bars early.
Plus, there’s no business license or liquor license on file for operations there.
19 Investigates obtained records from more than a dozen calls for police service to the address over the last four years.
According to reports from 2016, a victim of assault reported that this was an “after hours spot” back then.
And the notoriety remains. In fact, as we were at the location Thursday, a passerby asked us what happened and why were were there. When we told them there was a shooting, he said “Oh, at the after hours place?”
So who’s responsible for operating the joint? It’s tough to say.
On Sunday, a woman at the murder scene told police she was the property owner.
But, according to property tax records, the building belongs to the State of Ohio.
Court records show the foreclosed property was forfeited to the state back in 2018 after failing to sell at two separate sheriff’s auctions.
Shouldn’t it be locked up and empty if the state still owns it? You would think.
However, we found several calls to police about illegal activity on the property after was transferred to the state.
At least two reports show the previous owner was still living at the location.
A spokesperson with Cleveland Water told 19 Investigates said there hasn’t been water running at the building for years. In fact, they even sent someone out to check and make sure there was no tampering with equipment to illegally get water. There wasn’t.
When we reached out to the state, a representative for the Department of Administrative Services told us while “the property is in the name of the state... the jurisdictional authority of the foreclosed property is the county in which the property is located.. in this case, Cuyahoga County.”
We called the county to ask why people were inside the building on Woodhill.
A spokesperson said officials are now looking into it.
Meanwhile Hurth’s family can’t help but wonder if this hurt could have been avoided.
“I miss my daughter,” she said. “She was having a girls night out. a girls night out that turned tragic.”
We also reached out to Kenneth Johnson, the city councilman over this district, asking if he knew about this trouble spot, or whether police had brought it to the city’s attention.
He was unavailable to meet Thursday, but we are working to set up a time to speak with him.
We’ll keep you updated as we continue our investigation.
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