Former Police Officer Admits To Murdering Wife, Hiding Body In Garage

Gary Stroud pleaded guilty to murder and gross abuse of a corpse

LAKE COUNTY, OH — A former Police officer and Lake County special deputy  Monday afternoon in Lake County Court of Common Pleas.

Gary Stroud, 59, of Mentor-on-the-Lake, admitted to Judge Joseph Gibson that he repeatedly struck his wife, Diane Stroud, in the head with a hammer and then hid her body in their garage for weeks.

Stroud will face a mandatory punishment of 15 years to life in prison when he is sentenced Aug. 8.

Stroud , two counts of kidnapping, two counts of felonious assault and one count of tampering with evidence. But, as part of his plea bargain, those charges were dismissed.

Diane Stroud, , had not been seen for six weeks when police were called to their home on Nov. 27, 2011, after a family member smelled an unusual odor coming from the garage.

During that time, Gary Stroud told his family and neighbors that she had left him and joined a cult, .

When the family member asked about the smell, Stroud claimed that one of the chickens he kept in the back yard had died. But the family member was suspicious enough that she called police.

When police searched the garage, they found Diane Stroud's body. It was encased in a sleeping bag with a garbage bag pulled over her head that was secured with duct tape. Then the sleeping bag was covered with a tarp that was also held down with duct tape, according to the affidavit.

Finally, both a bag of lime and a bottle of bleach were found near the body.

Police immediately arrested Gary Stroud.

Stroud retired from the Mentor Police Department more than six years ago. Since then, he had worked for the Lake County Sheriff's Office part time as a special deputy.

He provided court security, helped deliver papers, escorted clerical employees to the bank and did other odd jobs.

Stroud was laid off by the department in September 2011 -- not because he was remiss in his work but because of financial necessities, the sheriff said.

Additionally, Stroud's house was foreclosed on in October, according to Lake County Court of Common Pleas records.

Matt B. July 17, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Great guy. Lesson... don't trust cops because they are cops.
James July 17, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Matt you can't be serious
Anne July 17, 2012 at 05:18 PM
I really don't understand why a heinous crime like that allows a plea bargain or a chance for parole in the future. Something is wrong with our system. One bullet to the head would save us taxpayers a ton of money in certain cases like this where the murderer admits guilt and there is no possibility of the wrong person getting the conviction. No wasting money on appeals either. I never used to believe in the death penalty, but have come around to it in recent years as the crimes of murder have become so numerous and disgusting. I still don't believe in it if there is ANY chance of the wrong person being convicted. But this situation - c'mon. I think it's inevitable that it needs to be considered as a cost saving factor for our society. These situations have become such a financial burden. Again - I repeat - only in this type of situation where there are no disputes.
kathy July 18, 2012 at 04:56 AM
Anne, I totally agree with you. I sick and tired of having to feed, clothe and give medical care to somebody that doesn't give a darn. There are many crimes that the death penalty should be mandatory. No Appeals in this case. And frankly, druggies should be given all the drugs they want and if they overdose, OH WELL.
Michael Nauton July 22, 2012 at 06:22 PM
bonytaker July 22, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Oh my
Jimmy Paul Chanda July 22, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Wow Matt, I guess you shouldn't trust any teachers either right? How about Priests and Rabbi's? oh wait lets add people who like Batman films or who are into science.. Yep douche is the right term Tory!
KATHY WATSON July 22, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Some people will probably ask what triggered the attack. Someone has already stated that the wife started it, even though we haven't been given that info. Some will say he was depressed because he lost his job. In my mind there is no excuse for killing someone, not ever. He killed his wife. No matter what he might think she did, there's no excuse for this behavior. If he is given only the minimum 15 year sentence (and not a longer one), it is far too little. He took a life. He deserves a very severe punishment.
Renee Parton July 23, 2012 at 12:21 AM
He should get the death penalty. That's what he gave his wife!
CC Watson July 23, 2012 at 12:35 AM
When he killed his wife so cruelly he gave up his right to life. No deals just get the job done and get rid of him. If there is no possibility of his being wrongly accused, there should be no delaying the final penalty of death for him.
Shirley Patterson July 23, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Anne I agree with you 100%. As long as there is no doubt, these evil people should be put out of their misery.
matt dougherty July 23, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Agreed Miss Parton !
Texas NDN July 23, 2012 at 01:37 AM
He has a severe case of cranial led deficency. Someone should cure him.
Art Nordhavn July 24, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Has nothing to do with this article, but your picture of Anti-American Michelle B. on the website makes me puke......


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