STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – A long-time Ohio middle school teacher has died after her husband said he came home to find her bleeding from multiple stab wounds Monday night, according to WJW.
Strongsville police and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations were called to a residence on Blazing Star Drive Monday evening.
While neither agency has released much information on the investigation, a source told WJW that the woman, identified as 49-year-old Melinda Pleskovic, was stabbed inside the home. Pleskovic was pronounced dead at Southwest General Health Center, according to the medical examiner.
The woman's husband told 911 dispatchers "I think someone killed my wife," saying that his wife looked like she had stab wounds to her back. He also said they've had "people trying to break into our house all year."
The man said he had just returned home with his "new son-in-law" when he discovered his wife with what appeared to him to be stab wounds. He said his son was already in the home.
The Strongsville school district released the following statement Tuesday morning:
"We have been informed of an investigation being conducted by the Strongsville Police Department regarding an incident at the home of one of our sixth grade teachers. As this is an ongoing police investigation, we are unable to comment any further at this time. We will, however, have crisis counselors on hand for students to speak with as we are aware this is unsettling and has been publicized through the media."
“It’s a loss for the community and it’s a sad day for Strongsville,” parent Scott Blakely told WJW. “I was I was shocked and sad. Sad for the kids of Strongsville, all the teachers and just the whole community. It was just a tough thing.”
The community is struggling to deal with the violent death. Those who knew her described Pleskovic as a beloved and devoted instructor. She taught sixth grade at the school for 27 years.
Blakely said Pleskovic taught all three of his children.
“She would always build in that confidence that a teacher needs to build (so) students (think) they can achieve anything they want to,” Blakely said.
The school was still open Tuesday and grief counselors were available, but many parents came to pick their kids up early.
“It’s hard. It’s hard for these kids, so I’m a little worried about him. I just want to be with him right now,” said Mary Canonico, a parent of an eighth grader at the school.
Canonico said her son texted her to say that he and everyone at the school was sad.
Julie Lawson, a parent and a therapy dog owner, brought her dog Kali in to the school to give the kids some comfort.
“We think of them as kids, but they are handling very adult issues and they’re just loving on her. The kids are cuddling with her, petting her. Some of them are crying on her. Some of them laugh when they see her,” Lawson said of the dog.
Those who knew Pleskovic and her impact in the classroom say no one will ever be able to replace her.
“Wow, what a legend, right? To have done so much for the community, so much for these kids and what’s interesting, all three of my kids spoke the same that they really loved her and that speaks volumes,” said Blakely.
Police had not announced any arrests as of Tuesday evening. Officials declined to release further details about the investigation.