Police: Blood helped identify culprit of funeral home break-in

Blood stains left on a pillow by a burglar at Allen and Redmond Funeral Home Inc., 331 Elmira St., led city police to a 24-year-old city man who was arrested Friday, nearly two years after the break-in.

Jonathan Wagner Hohman, of 1202 Park Ave., was charged with burglary, felony trespassing and criminal mischief, police said.

While nothing was reported stolen from the funeral home, the business sustained $2,200 damage as a result of the burglary, that occurred between Dec. 1 and Dec. 4, 2011, according to Agent Donald Mayes.

A burglar forced entry to the funeral home “by breaking a door that was connected to an unlocked flower delivery area,” Mayes said in an affidavit.

Once inside, the intruder committed several acts of criminal mischief, including “moving pieces of furniture, knocking a mirror off the wall, breaking an antique high-back love seat, breaking a lamp as well two wooden spindle chairs and an urn shelf, damaging two urns,” Mayes said.

The burglar also “tampered with a funeral-viewing reposing bed by disturbing a pillow and sheets. There were blood stains on the pillow,” Mayes said.

The funeral home staff said “the pillow and sheets had been freshly laundered and that there had not been any visitors or appointments at the home while it was closed during the first four days of December.

It was learned that the blood on the pillow had to be left by the burglar, Mayes said.

A DNA profile on the blood recently traced the stain back to Hohman, Mayes said.

During questioning by investigators at police headquarters this week, Hohman told police that although he remembers drinking alcoholic beverages at an establishment half a block away from Allen and Redmond’s “on the approximate date of the burglary, he does not ‘remember’ breaking into the funeral home,” Mayes said.

“He believes he was drugged during the night, and he doesn’t remember leaving (the establishment). He does remember waking up the next morning on Center Place, an alley that runs behind (the funeral home),” Mayes said.

“Hohman had no legitimate explanation as to how his blood would have been found inside the funeral home,” the investigator said.

Following his arraignment before District Judge James Carn, Hohman was released on $28,500 bail.