MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) UPDATE: 2/13/18 10:50 A.M.
A suspect in the killing of a Marietta woman in the early 1990s pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning to multiple counts of murder.
Randy Slider, 56, entered the plea in Noble County Common Pleas Court before Judge John Nau, who set a trial date for July 16.
Nau also issued a gag order in the case that prevents attorneys and other court officials from publicly discussing the case.
A Noble County grand jury indicted Slider in January on three counts of aggravated murder and one count of murder in the death of Patsy Sparks, who authorities say was last seen in Parkersburg on April 22, 1992, when Slider offered her a ride to a bar in Marietta.
She remained missing until hunters round her remains in a wooded area in Noble County in 1994.
Slider, formerly of Marietta, is currently serving a 40-year prison term on separate kidnapping, robbery, and sexual assault charges in Clermont and Hamilton counties.
He's being held at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution.
Tuesday's arraignment hearing originally was scheduled for Wednesday morning but was moved up a day.
Update: 1/24/2018 10:00 A.M.
Randy Slider, 56, who was indicted on Friday, January 19, for the 1992 death of Patsy Sparks, is scheduled to be arraigned February 14 before Noble County Common Pleas Judge John Nau.
UPDATE: 1/23/2018 11:00 A.M.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Tuesday that a Washington County man has been charged with killing a Marietta woman in 1992.
A Noble County Grand Jury indicted Randy Slider, 56, on Friday, January 19, on three counts of Aggravated Murder and one count of Murder for the 1992 death of Patsy Sparks.
The charges relate to the 1992 killing of Patsy Sparks. Sparks was last seen in Parkersburg, West Virginia on April 22, 1992, when Slider offered her a ride to a bar in Marietta. She was missing until hunters discovered her remains in a wooded area in Noble County in 1994. Slider, formerly of Marietta, is currently serving a 40-year prison term on separate kidnapping, robbery, and sexual assault charges in Clermont and Hamilton counties.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office cold case squad led the investigation with assistance from the Attorney General's Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The Parkersburg Police Department, the Noble County Sheriff's Office, the West Virginia State Police, the Marietta Police Department, and the FBI Crime Lab also assisted with the case. At the request of the Noble County Prosecutor, attorneys from the Ohio Attorney General's Office Special Prosecution section are prosecuting the case.
An arraignment date is pending.
More than 24 years after her disappearance, the Patsy Sparks homicide case is being re-opened.
The Washington County Cold Case Unit says with recent success in both the Pat Arnold and Ray Clark investigations, they feel they can continue solving even more cold case files.
The unit is made up of five individuals, all of which will work on this case until it's solved.
The family says they're elated and grateful the case getting re-opened.
"Somebody that doesn't have this kind of thing happen to them really doesn't understand how much it changes. I was only fourteen when this happened, so it changed my whole outlook. Knowing that somebody got away with that is a really hard pill to swallow," says a cousin of Patsy Sparks, Jessica Whipkey.
The investigators will review the case and come together with a strategy to find justice for Patsy Sparks.