Sunday, May 28, 2000

Murder mystery: River uncovers skeleton

Cops think Conn. man was on lam

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FORT THOMAS — Henry Scharf left New York for Cincinnati 34 years ago, just days ahead of a federal indictment. He was never seen again by family and friends in his hometown of Weston, Conn.

[photo] Fort Thomas Police Detective Mike Daly displays the clothing and personal items recovered with the skeleton.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
        Police here think they may have found Mr. Scharf's skeleton in a grave along the banks of the Ohio River. The skeleton, with a bullet hole in the skull, and various personal articles were displaced from a grave by the constant movement of the river waters.

        Now authorities in Kentucky and Connecticut, with assistance from the FBI, are attempting to locate family members or anyone else who knew the victim.

        The story begins here April 23, when two young boys fishing in the Ohio River off Ky. 8 near Tower Drive discovered a skeleton. Police and state forensic anthropologist Emily Craig scoured the area, removing the skeleton as well as what was left of a man's suit and shirt, money clips, a pair of glasses with diamond chips in the frames, cuff links and a couple of keys.

        Ms. Craig determined the skeleton was of a large man, probably close to 6 feet 4 inches and at least 250 pounds. She was able to clean the keys, which were made in Bridgeport and Norwalk, Conn., and a 14K gold money clip bearing initials HS.

        The story actually began 34 years earlier, however, in New York and Connecticut, where a 45-year-old stockbroker named Henry Scharf was charged along with three co-defendants with failing to pay about $7 million in foreign stock taxes.

        “We know (Mr. Scharf) left New York for Cincinnati in March of 1966,” said Fort Thomas Detective Mike Daly, who is the lead investigator on the case. “No one heard from him again.”

        Detective Daly, who is working closely with the Connecticut State Police and police in Weston, is hoping to locate family or friends who can confirm that the skeleton found along the river is, in fact, Mr. Scharf.

        He said New York and Connecticut authorities said Mr. Scharf appeared before a federal grand jury in New York and disappeared a few days later. He and the other three men were indicted in November 1966.

        “We want to talk to anyone who might remember anything else about Henry Scharf,” Detective Daly said. “We're convinced someone killed him and buried him here, but we don't know why he was killed or why he was here.”

        Anyone with any information about Mr. Scharf should contact Fort Thomas police at (859) 441-0300.


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