19 News Investigative Unit

  Watching Your Wallet: Don’t break your gift budget this holiday season

  Cashing in on Charity: Donations meant to help sick children, wounded veterans, abused animals instead benefit for-profit fundraisers

  Woman falls victim to ‘minister scam,' and now she’s speaking out

  NEO communities could be getting thousands of lawsuit dollars for drug treatment and prevention programs

  Millions of elderly Americans targeted every year for fraud

  NEO landfills and quarries vulnerable to flooding from climate change, new report finds

Continued Coverage

  19 News introduces you to the Scam Squad

  Portage County Sheriff provides blank disc when jail assault video was promised

  Despite new law, Ohioans struggle to get lifesaving prescription refills: ’I shouldn’t have to beg for a drug that’s going to keep my daughter alive’

  Families want awareness of lifesaving prescription law

  Tracing serial killer Samuel Little’s Northeast Ohio roots: ‘They didn’t know who the hell was doing it’

  The making of a serial killer: Tracing Samuel Little’s Northeast Ohio roots

  Video shows incident outside police station involving Cuyahoga County employee

A Cuyahoga County worker was caught on camera getting physical with a woman outside of a police station right as she was heading in to file a domestic violence report against him.

Missed Opportunity: Federal initiative meant to help poor neighborhoods benefits the rich

Neighborhoods with an average income of about six-figures are labeled “distressed” by the federal government.

Who killed Amy Mihaljevic? The missing pieces, and a killer on the run

This week marks 30 years since the disappearance of a 10-year-old girl from Bay Village.

  Northeast Ohio author, community search for answers in unsolved Amy Mihaljevic murder case 30 years later

It has now been 30 years since 10-year-old Amy Mihaljevic went missing from a Bay Village shopping center and was later found dead miles away in a field in Ashland County. The community's connection to this case runs deep.

  Hidden Damage: Wrecked, flooded border patrol truck sold at dealership without damage declared

  'They trusted me and I betrayed them.’ Ohio mom behind nationwide Facebook scam sentenced to prison

  Carjacking suspect shot by police near Cleveland park indicted on new charges

Trial begins for Ohio mom charged in nationwide Facebook scam

  Cleveland company files for bankruptcy, owes millions to schools across Ohio and US

  4th former inmate claims brutality from corrections officers at Portage County Jail

  Fake Filters? Made-up addresses, strange receipts and copycat websites reveal knock-offs on the market

After several strange clues, a Michigan father questions whether his water filters are authentic. Experts say counterfeit filters are a growing problem in the United States.

  Akron mother murdered in 1991 was victim of serial killer Samuel Little

Police now confirm the 1991 slaying of an Akron woman was at the hands of convicted serial killer Samuel Little.

  FBI calls Lorain’s Samuel Little America’s deadliest serial killer; search continues for more victims

The FBI is now confirming Samuel Little is America's deadliest serial killer, and he's from right here in Northeast Ohio.

Man charged with grand theft following Westlake ‘missing money’ investigation

A North Ridgeville man has been charged following a months-long investigation into money missing from an employee association.

  Watching Your Wallet: Student loan debt reaches all-time high

College graduates now owe the most money in history; experts say it's best to pay it back sooner rather than later.

  Court documents give a glimpse into convicted killer George Brinkman’s defense as trial begins

Convicted killer George Brinkman is now on trial for the deaths of Gene and Bobby John, a Lake Township couple shot to death in their home in 2017. 19 News is looking into what experts the defense plans to call to the stand.

  Whistle-blower claims Cuyahoga County Jail inmate woes are, in part, due to staffing shortage

The Cuyahoga County Jail has been under intense scrutiny since 2018, and once again, the issues boiled over into public view.

  Cancer causing chemical could be lurking in your home: new app detects it

A professor originally from Northeast Ohio designed a first of its kind app that can detect formaldehyde in just 72 hours, protecting your family in just a few simple steps.

  Smartphone app detects formaldehyde inside your home in just 72 hours

Tonight at 11: It's hard to believe, but indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air. So how do you detect dangerous chemicals that may be lurking in your home?

  Ohio lawmaker wants to raise the age for expunging juvenile records after Dayton shooting

Next week marks two months since a gunman killed nine people and injured 27 others in a mass shooting in Dayton.

  Teens targeted in sexual extortion scams

Tonight at 11: The FBI is warning teens about increased cases in sextortion scams.

  Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson responds to ethics questions regarding homicide investigation involving grandson (video)

After weeks of dodging our cameras and our questions, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has finally broken his silence to 19 News regarding ethics concerns over a homicide investigation involving his grandson.

  Cleveland family seeks answers one year after mother of three was murdered

A father continues to search for answers one year after his daughter was brutally murdered.31-year-old Jasmine Washington was found dead hidden behind church steps in Slavic Village in Cleveland.

  Lake County student stocks up emergency supply of lifesaving drug during nationwide shortage

As families wait desperately for refills of a life-saving drug, one local student is making sure his classmates have access to EpiPens in the case of emergencies.

Former Bedford city worker who embezzled $50,000 sentenced to 2 weekends in jail

A former Bedford city employee will spend the next two weekends in jail after admitting she stole thousands of dollars from the city’s water department.

  Dangerous shortage of life-saving drugs puts parents in fear for school season

A dangerous shortage of a life-saving drug and continued high costs are putting many parents in fear as they send their children back to school.

  Families fearful of life-saving drug shortage: ‘I’m still waiting for that refill’

The drug that once saved Chase’s life comes at a high cost, and now, it also comes with a wait list.

  Cleveland mayor on grandson’s case: ‘You can choose to believe the media, or you can believe me’

After more than two weeks of questions, Mayor Frank Jackson broke his silence regarding questions about his grandson, but the mayor did it in an interview conducted by City Hall.

  LISTEN: Police calls detail moments after mayor’s grandson allegedly attacked woman

For the first time, we’re hearing radio traffic between dispatchers and police as emergency crews responded to a woman that was attacked in Cleveland.

  City department manager fired after botched investigation into employees sleeping on the job

19 News has learned incompetence went to the top at Cleveland Public Power when it came to employees sleeping on the job. It's an update to an exclusive 19 News investigation, from nearly three years ago.

  GPS ankle monitor shortage means Cleveland mayor’s grandson stuck in jail despite posting bond

Despite posting bond earlier this week, Frank Q. Jackson is still locked up in the Cuyahoga County Jail.

  Sources say Cleveland mayor told officers not to use body cams while investigating grandson

Police are investigating a homicide on the west side of Cleveland that killed a 33-year-old man. There are now questions on whether Mayor Jackson may have interfered with that homicide case after it led officers to his doorstep.

  Dangerous house fires caused by something many homeowners don’t check

An estimated five people die each year from dryer fires. It can also cause thousands of dollars in damage to homes.

  Dryer fires pose risk from cause many don’t check

Sunday at 6:30 p.m.: An estimated five people die each year from dryer fires. It can also cause thousands of dollars in damage to homes.

  Cleveland Law Department says CMHA detective withheld evidence relating to felony assault case against Mayor Frank Jackson’s grandson

Questions continue to swirl over whether Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson was involved in his grandson’s most recent criminal case.

  Local Attorney launched obscenity laced tirade at Brooklyn Police Officers (video)

19 News has obtained exclusive video of a profanity filled confrontation between a well-known attorney and members of the City of Brooklyn Police Department.

  Aisha’s Law draws support and skepticism as legislators work to shield at-risk domestic violence victims

A bill named Aisha’s Law seeks to reform Ohio's domestic violence laws, but it may face hurdles to pass.

  Questions mount over police disciplinary procedures after 19 News uncovers history of suspensions against accused Cleveland officer

On Monday, the officer accused of urinating on a 12-year-old girl and videotaping it pleaded not guilty. In court, the officer froze when the judge asked if he wanted to plead not guilty. It took Solomon Nhiwatawa more than one minute to respond to the judge.

  Former North Olmsted funeral director accused of ripping off more than a dozen clients, many of them elderly, speaks out

“It got co-mingled, and I’m apologizing and I’m sorry for that. It just happened. With the funeral home accounts. When the funeral home dissolved itself, it went to paying off other expenditures.”

  Locked Down: Inside the prison where inmates set each other on fire and gangs have more power than guards

Widespread concern about understaffing in Mississippi's prisons has people calling for a change. They say inmates, correctional officers and surrounding communities are in danger.

  Cleveland City Council approves grant for gunshot detection technology

City leaders are looking into gunshot detection technology to help with crime fighting in Cleveland’s Fourth District.

  Could Florida’s new student threat database work in Ohio?

Tracking student threats has become a priority for many schools.Now Florida just activated a database that will compile all of this under a new law. 19News is getting answers on whether this could help here in Ohio.

  Do you have unclaimed treasures in Ohio’s ‘lost and found?’

Precious metals, coins, stamps, foreign or domestic currency; who could forget they own items like this?

  Measure of Hate documentary explores the undercounting of crimes in America

InvestigateTV shows issues with undercounting hate crimes, including the FBI failing to meet a federal mandate to report. After months of reporting on this issue, this documentary also highlights results of the investigation, including police departments amending their records.

  How ‘Geauga’s Child’, a 26-year-old cold case, was solved by detectives (timeline)

The mother of 'Geauga's Child' is set to face a judge Tuesday. The 26-year-old cold case that gripped Northeast Ohio was finally solved just weeks ago.

  Watching Your Wallet: Decade-by-decade, experts help you save for retirement

By retirement, financial experts say you should have at least eight times your annual salary saved up. NerdWallet explains how to get there, decade-by-decade.

  ’We are disappointed in the process’: Cleveland City Council questioned over lead legislation that could prove costly

A realtors associations says they’re disappointed with the way Cleveland City Council handled an independent study that estimated costs for a new lead ordinance.

  Calls to human trafficking hotlines from survivors soar

Human trafficking cases reported to the national hotline soared 25 percent last year. Callers reported 443 cases here in Ohio.Ohio ranks fourth in the nation for reported human trafficking cases.

  New law requires Cleveland landlords to have lead-safe homes

Statistics show nearly half of Ohio children with lead poisoning live in Cuyahoga County.

  19 Investigates: Donated bone and tissue used for cosmetic industry research nationally, but not in Northeast Ohio

As 19 News discovered, the reality is while skin and tissue donations are used to treat patients with all sorts of devasting injuries from burns to accident victims, they’re also used for something else. Cosmetic research.

Former Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center superintendent quits after just 5 hours on job, says it was ‘personal decision’

He started work on Monday and quit just five hours later. The new superintendent of Cuyahoga County’s Juvenile Detention Center didn’t even last a full day on the job.

  Citations issued to driver who caused I-77 mess that left 100 drivers with flat tires

More than 100 drivers on I-77 were left with flat tires after a truck dumped a load of scrap metal during rush hour Tuesday. We learned today the driver was with a company called NAT Services Inc. based in Cuyahoga Heights.

  Fake Filters? Companies falsely claim to have prestigious water safety certification

With water quality and safety concerns across the country, many families are turning to water filters. But there are counterfeit filters and filters carrying fake certification marks.

  New leader overseeing police reform in Cleveland says change won’t slow them down

A new leader is now overseeing federal oversight of Cleveland Police. The consent decree is in its fourth year.

  Untested Waters: Feds take small steps toward inspecting more seafood

The FDA has a new strategy for imported food safety, and Congress has increased seafood inspection funds. But the U.S. still lags behind some other countries when it comes to inspections and regulations.

  Would you donate organs, tissue if used for cosmetic surgeries?

As 19 News discovered, the reality is while skin and tissue donations are used to treat patients with all sorts of devastating injuries from burns to accident victims, they’re also used for something else.

  Investigators look for more victims of Boy Scout leader facing child porn charges

Federal investigators are looking for more possible victims of a boy scout leader charged with producing child pornography. Thomas Close, known as "Aqua Joe," is accused of secretly recording boys changing after swimming.

  Behind the scenes: How 12 Cuyahoga County investigators solve suspicious deaths around Cleveland

Investigator Sara Goldenberg has an inside look at how death investigators rely on science to find out how victims like this died.

  Cleveland hotels fight human trafficking during All-Star Game

Hotels are preparing for the thousands of fans making their way to Cleveland for the MLB All-Star Game.But employees are also on the lookout for human trafficking.

  Safety steps you need to take before getting into an Uber or Lyft during MLB All-Star Week

Hundreds of people will turn to Uber and Lyft for rides in and around Cleveland during the MLB All-Star Game. 19News is checking on the latest ways you can protect yourself when you order a ride share.

  Meth cases triple in Lorain County, but heroin and fentanyl still on top

Meth submissions to the Lorain County crime lab more than tripled in the last three years and 2019 is on pace to be another big year for meth there.

  19 Investigates: Meth cases flood into Northeast Ohio, purer and more dangerous than before

The meth flooding into Northeast Ohio is purer than ever before, making it more potent and possibly more deadly.

  Lorain County builder responds to homeowner’s complaints after they come to 19 News

Builder responds to homeowners complaints after they reach out to 19 News for help.

  Meth cases soar in many Northeast Ohio counties, supplied by Mexican drug cartels

The meth flooding into Northeast Ohio is purer than ever before, making it more potent and possibly more deadly.

Watching Your Wallet: Experts say to shop around for the best deals on car insurance and cell phone plans

A NerdWallet financial expert offers tips on saving money on car insurance and cell phone bills: Watch this and don't pay for what you don't need.

  Cleveland man and woman plead not guilty to trafficking 13-year-old girl; judge sets bond at $250,000

A man and woman from Cleveland, who are facing human trafficking charges involving a 13-year-old girl, appeared before a judge Friday morning.

City of Mansfield’s fire hydrant inspection process ‘under review’ following fatal arson

One day after a three-year-old girl was killed in a fire, Mansfield city leaders said they’re reviewing the fire hydrant inspection process.

  19 News investigation into use of Cleveland Water Department equipment for private jobs widens after resignation

More Cleveland Water Department workers investigated for using city property on private jobs.