Bathtub drowning victim Sarah Widmer’s family believes so strongly in her husband’s innocence, they’re putting her funeral on hold because they want Ryan Widmer to attend – but he can’t while he’s in jail.
Widmer, 27, is charged with murder in the drowning Monday night of his wife, Sarah Widmer, 24. The couple, married April 19, were living in a home in Hamilton Township, a community that hasn’t seen a homicide in a decade.
Widmer is being held on $1 million bond. Friends and relatives say the murder charge was a huge mistake.
“(The funeral) is pending until we can see when we can clear this up for Ryan. He’s her family; he’s my family. He needs to be there,” said Mike Steward, 28, Sarah’s brother. “With every ounce of my being, I believe there’s no possible way he could have done this.”
But Warren County Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel is standing her ground.
The murder charge is based on “injuries that are consistent with a violent death, not an accident,” Hutzel said Thursday.
Coroner Russell Uptegrove found the injuries inside Sarah Widmer’s body during an autopsy, Hutzel said. She says ethical rules bar her from sharing more details right now.
Steward unsuccessfully asked a judge today to lower the bond for his brother-in-law, saying, “Ryan should be treated as a hero for trying to save my sister…He doesn’t deserve this.”
Ryan and Sarah got married at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Middletown, after about 1½ years of dating. Friends and relatives say Ryan Widmer had no known history of getting angry. They also say Sarah Widmer was known to spend hours in the bathtub and that she habitually fell asleep, even as she sat in a car on her way to social outings or during movies.
However, the injuries to Sarah Widmer’s body cannot be explained by any accidental cause. They also are different than those that could be associated with CPR attempts, Hutzel said.