More than seven months after an inventory report found it missing, an AR-15 tactical assault rifle has yet to be located and the investigation into its whereabouts continues.
The firearm was reported missing from the Washington County Sheriff's Office on the 2011 inventory report, which was filed in January of this year.
Detectives from Muskingum and Guernsey counties are handling the investigation, and Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks declined to provide specifics of the case, citing its status as ongoing.
"It's an open criminal investigation, and we are just following up on the information we have," Mincks said.
Muskingum County Sheriff's Detective Capt. Steve Welker said Monday that he turned in the material he gathered for the investigation in June.
"I've turned everything over to them, and they were going to review it," he said.
Welker said he could not comment on specifics of the investigation, since it was still an open case.
A call to the Guernsey County Sheriff's Office detective bureau was not returned Monday.
The rifle, which is valued at approximately $600 to $700, was taken out of service in 2008 and placed in the sheriff's office's armory. It appeared on the inventory records of the sheriff's office until the 2011 inventory, and was with the department in 2010, Mincks has said.
At the time the investigation began, Mincks said he was uncertain whether the gun was still within the department and a clerical error had simply caused it to be reissued to another officer. He did not address whether or not that had been ruled out as a possibility in the most recent interview.
Independent sheriff's candidate Chris Forshey, who brought the issue up at a Washington County Commission meeting earlier this year, said Monday that he's disappointed the investigation hasn't come to a conclusion and thinks the public should be updated about its status.
"I think the public has a right to know where this investigation is at" and what has been discovered or ruled out about the weapon's whereabouts, he said.
Forshey said not only is the weapon public property, it's potentially dangerous.
"Someone has to be held accountable for this," he said.
Mincks said in March he would be holding the person in charge of the arsenal responsible.