MCCONNELSVILLE — A Sidney man has been charged with two counts of aggravated murder in the deaths of a couple in Morgan County.
According to Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, Brian Jason Weimert, 43, of Sidney, appeared Wednesday morning in Morgan County Court, where bail was set at $1 million. He has been charged in the deaths of a Pickaway County couple, Steven Sturgill Jr., 36, of Circleville, and Crystal Dawn Burchett, 39, of Circleville. He is being held in the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail in Nelsonville.
A preliminary autopsy showed both victims suffered gunshot wounds.
According to a press release from Morgan County Sheriff Douglas McGrath, the bodies of the couple were found early Tuesday morning after they had been reported missing. The bodies were found in the equine area of the Appalachian Hills Wildlife area, formerly known as AEP Recreation Lands.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources had responded to a “well-being“ check of a family in the Equine Area on July 26. ODNR, the release stated, contacted the sheriff’s office for their assistance.
Upon ODNR’s response, the officers felt that something was just not right. This provoked a response from a family member who came to the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office and filed a missing persons report on her son and his girlfriend, both from the Pickaway County area. Initially it was found that the two missing persons had come to Morgan County to camp and approximately three weeks ago had lost contact with their family back in Pickaway County.
The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office coordinated with ODNR and a full investigation was launched into the disappearance of the two people. Deputies and ODNR officers converged on the equine camping area to further investigate. The missing couple’s trailer and vehicle were discovered and impounded, and interviews were conducted.
The interviews led law enforcement into conducting an extensive search of the surrounding wooded areas of the equine area. The search lasted well into the early morning hours of Tuesday. During this search, two deceased bodies were discovered in two different locations.
At this point, McGrath summoned the expertise of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau. They arrived and processed the multiple crime scenes for the sheriff. The bodies were removed to the Licking County Coroner’s Office.