Authorities found letters at Michael E. Hance’s Akron residence this week indicating that he might have had money problems.
A search warrant returned to Akron Municipal Court mentions that one letter involved a “debt renegotiation” and another was a “debt settlement offer.”
Akron police and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation searched the two-story house on Minota Avenue in Firestone Park after Hance shot his longtime girlfriend, Rebecca Dieter, and killed seven people Sunday morning in Copley Township.
Hance, 51, was killed by police.
He and Dieter lived in Copley but kept the Akron home when they moved to the suburbs two years ago.
In addition to the letters referencing the debt, authorities also seized a Hewlett-Packard computer, emails between Dieter and another woman, “a letter to ‘unknown spouse’ of Rebecca Dieter” from a Columbus attorney, a letter from the state of Tennessee about unclaimed property, “copy of motion to dismiss action for collection of funds,” and “remittance invoice from Tennessee.”
The significance of the letters and other items taken was unclear Wednesday. Authorities have said they are still searching for a motive for the killings.
“We cannot discuss details of an open investigation,” Ohio Attorney General’s spokeswoman Eve Mueller said in an email in response to questions about the search warrant and items. The attorney general oversees BCI.
Copley and Akron police couldn’t be reached for comment.
The Tennessee Treasury Department maintains an online searchable database for unclaimed property. Michael E. Hance is not listed, but a Michael S. Hance is owed $62.04 in wages.
A Treasury Department spokesman couldn’t immediately provide details about any money owed to the Michael Hance from Copley.