Thursday, July 12, 2001

Missing woman's family gets $2M

By David Eck
Enquirer Contributor

        BLANCHESTER - Village police officers will undergo domestic violence law enforcement training as part of a settlement of a federal suit filed by the family of Carrie Culberson, a Blanchester woman who is presumed dead.

        The village is also required to send its police chief to domestic violence training sessions.

Carrie Culberson
Carrie Culberson
        A federal jury decided this year that former Blanchester police chief Richard Payton called off a search for Ms. Culberson, 22.

        Jurors faulted Mr. Payton for halting a search in a junkyard pond, despite indications that Ms. Culberson's body might be there. Mr. Payton also failed to secure the scene, possibly allowing someone to remove Ms. Culberson's remains, jurors concluded.

        The jury awarded the family $3.75 million. But the settlement provides the family $2 million, said Al Gerhardstein, the Culberson family's attorney.

        The village also must establish a Domestic Violence Coalition to evaluate services in Clinton County.

        The village will fund the coalition with $30,000 per year for the first two years.

        It also must create and maintain forever a memorial, named after Ms. Culberson, to all women who have suffered domestic violence in Blanchester and Clinton County.

        The village agreed to continue searching for Ms. Culberson's remains, and display at the police station a photo of her and the status of the search.

        Vincent Doan, Ms. Culberson's boyfriend, was convicted of killing her. She has not been seen since 1996.


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