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Missing New Richmond man thought to be homicide victim, BCI says

WXIX Cincinnati logo WXIX Cincinnati 7/14/2021 Jennifer Edwards Baker
a screen shot of a man: Bobby Farrell Jr. © Provided by WXIX Cincinnati Bobby Farrell Jr.

NEW RICHMOND, Ohio (WXIX) - A man from New Richmond, last seen July 6, is believed to be the victim in a homicide investigation, according to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).

The body of who is thought to be 23-year-old Robert “Bobby” Farrell Jr. was found around 8:30 p.m. at a crime scene off of State Route 222 in southern Clermont County on Monday.

Farrell Jr. left his home on July 6 to drive around with a friend, but he never returned, according to New Richmond police.

New Richmond police reported him missing three days later on July 9. The Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) joined the investigation.

Keyanta Gardner, 23, was arrested early Monday in connection with the disappearance of Farrell Jr., according to police.

Garnder was initially charged with tampering with evidence and obstructing official business, both felonies, court records show.

BCI says more charges are expected.

Police explained in a criminal complaint why they charged him.

“On 7/11/2021 during a voluntary interview with Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents, Keyanta Gardner knowingly made false and misleading statements in an attempt to mislead the investigation into the disappearance of Robert Farrell Jr. Gardner admitted to making false and misleading statements to investigators since Farrell’s disappearance on 7/6/2021.”

Gardner made his initial court appearance shortly after his arrest.

Clermont County Municipal Court Judge Kevin Miles dismissed the obstructing charge.

The charge was dropped at the request of the Clermont County Prosecutor’s Office, which wrote on a court form, “more investigation needed.”

Gardner is held on a $100,000 bond at the Clermont County Jail.

He is scheduled to return to court at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 21. He is expected to appear for a preliminary hearing before Clermont County Municipal Court Judge Jesse Kramig.

“The investigation remains active and ongoing. At this point, there are no additional details that I can share,” BCI spokesman, Steven Irwin, said.

a person posing for the camera: Keyanta Gardner © Provided by WXIX Cincinnati Keyanta Gardner

Dakota Griffin, a high school classmate of Farrell, said his heart broke when he saw the news about the 23-year-old.

“He had one of the biggest hearts that I’ve ever witnessed and that’s what makes it so upsetting,” Griffin said. “He had such little time and he has a little girl now and I’m feeling for the whole family and his brother. His brother was a big part of his life.”

The Clermont County Coroner’s Office is conducting the autopsy on the body found Monday.

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