Brittany Stykes' family publicly criticizing sheriff's office over investigation

RIPLEY, Ohio -- The family of a slain Brown County mother is publicly criticizing the sheriff's office investigating the case of their daughter’s mysterious death.

On the night of Aug. 28, Mary and David Dodson were waiting for their daughter Brittany Stykes to arrive at their home in Ripley -- but the pregnant 22-year-old never made it.

She was found later that night shot to death in her Jeep off U.S. Route 68, just three miles away.

Since then, the Dodson's say they have been in touch with investigators almost every day. Stykes’ husband and his family, however, say they are frustrated with the way the investigation has been carried out.

The Stykes family wrote on a public Facebook page titled “Stykes Family Fund” Thursday to make their frustrations known.

The family posted: “What is going on Brown County Sheriffs? It's been over 6 weeks and you have absolutely nothing? Maybe it's time to call higher ups in!!!! Who agrees????”

But the Dodsons say they don’t.

"I've talked to some of the detectives. They're working on this on their time off the clock,” said David Dodson. “I talked to one of them the other night at two o'clock in the morning he was still working on it, off the clock, and he says he just can't let it go.”

Brittany Stykes’ toddler-aged daughter Aubree was also found in the vehicle the night of the shooting, and suffered a gunshot wound to her head. Just 14 months old at the time, Aubree managed to survive and was treated and released from Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

Since the shooting, Aubree has undergone three emergency brain surgeries and several setbacks. And now, at 15 months old, she’s preparing for her fourth surgery.

Her family says doctors will insert a shunt to help move fluid from her head to the rest of her body.

“I miss my daughter everyday and Aubree is all I have left of her of Brittany,” Mary Dodson said. “It's very hard. It's very hard to see her going through this, when all I want to do is bring her here and love her.”

Aubree remains at the hospital where her father Shane Stykes is by her side.

Earlier this month, the reward for information leading to an arrest in Stykes’ case was doubled from $5,000 to $10,000 with support from local businesses and members of the community.

$5,000 is being offered by Crime Stoppers while the other $5,000 was raised through a community reward fund set up by her family. 

Despite the doubled reward, investigators say they still have no suspect and leads are thin.

"This was pure evil whoever did this,” Mary Dodson said. “I have to know who and why because…it's not going to give me closure but it might give me peace of mind."

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