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Thu. 3:51pm UPDATE: Suspect in custody in cold case murder (photo)

June 20, 2013
Tribune Chronicle |

YOUNGSTOWN - It took 39 years, but authorities have a suspect in a grisly triple homicide from Canfield Township.

Today, the Mahoning County grand jury indicted James P. Ferrara, 64, on three counts of aggravated murder, one count of aggravated burglary and on count of aggravated robbery in connection to the Dec. 13, 1974, death of Benjamin Marsh, 33, his wife, Marilyn, 32, and their daughter Heather, 4.

The three were found in their 5540 South Turner Road home. Their year-old son, Chris, was alive and covered in blood, according to Tribune Chronicle archives.

Article Photos

Prosecutors matched Ferrara's fingerprints with those left on a cigarette butt at the scene. The suspect is serving 20 years to life in Marion Correctional Institution for robbery, aggravated murder and drug trafficking not related to this case. He is up for parole in 2015.

Benjamin and Heather had been beaten by what authorities believed to be a butt of a gun. Sheriff's deputies at the time said the house was entered through a garage window. Missing from the home were Marilyn Marsh's purse and a family car, which was later found in a parking lot in Austintown.

Benjamin Marsh's dad said the last time he spoke to or heard from his son and daughter-in-law was the day before when Marilyn dropped Heather off at his house while she went to the dentists office.

Updates will be posted at and the complete story will be in Friday's Tribune Chronicle.



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