COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – NBC4 Investigates uncovered through court records and friends that one of the victims of a double homicide in Morrow County had filed for divorce from the suspect and gotten a protective order less than a year ago.
Charles Fink is being held in a Kentucky jail, after deputies arrested him late Tuesday night on a murder warrant out of Morrow County. It was just hours after Morrow County Sheriff John Hinton said deputies arrived at a home in the northeast part of the county for a welfare check, and found two bodies inside.
Fink’s arrest was his second trip to jail in less than a year. According to municipal court records, he was charged with domestic violence in October and pleaded not guilty.
Law enforcement in Morrow County won’t release the names of the victims Tuesday’s double homicide, but friends and neighbors identified them as Fink’s estranged wife and a man who was staying in her home with her – the nature of their relationship was unclear, as friends gave conflicting accounts.
Court records show Fink’s wife filed for divorce in November and sought a protective order. Her address matches the address of Tuesday’s crime scene. The divorce filing came weeks after Fink’s domestic violence arrest.
“I replaced the door lock on her trailer home,” said Michael Albert, who lives next door. “She had one pistol. I told her to make sure you got that pistol close to you all the time, in case he ever comes back.”
“There are abusers that unfortunately do not abide by the protection order. And it’s because when we’re dealing with domestic violence, those abusers are really looking to exert and establish power and control over their intimate partner,” said Dr. Maria Houston, executive director of LSS CHOICES, which provides emergency assistance and support to domestic violence survivors in Franklin County.
Shelley Marsh, deputy director of the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, said while protective orders are a useful tool for survivors of domestic violence, they are not completely fail-safe.
“I would say, probably more survivors than not who have to deal with some type of violation after getting a protective order,” Marsh said.
Marsh recommends that survivors of domestic abuse create a safety plan for after the order is served. ODVN helps survivors compile those plans, which might include saving money and important documents, establishing a safe place to go, or informing an employer about the possible danger.
“It’s different for everyone, and we really try to let the survivors lead the types of things that are planned,” Marsh said.
ODVN has a map of partner domestic violence programs all over Ohio, but there are none in Morrow County.
Survivors there would have to go to the Turning Point shelter in Marion, which serves six counties.
“All our domestic violence programs across the state try to do as much as they can to advertise their service area,” Marsh said. “I would say that most programs always need to have more than what they have. I have to say that I’m working with our programs across the state, everybody tries really hard to do the best they can with what they have.”
If you or someone you know might be experiencing domestic abuse, contact the Ohio Domestic Violence Network here, or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.
LSS CHOICES is also available to assist survivors in Franklin County.