Student killed in triple homicide Friday

Sean Joseph

Student victim held hostage before shooting

Senior Sarah Positano was held hostage and then killed at 3729 Ranfield Rd. in Brimfield this weekend.

Credit: Beth Rankin


Credit: Beth Rankin

BRIMFIELD—A Brimfield man will be arraigned today on three charges of aggravated murder after allegedly killing a Kent State senior and two others late Friday night.

The Summit Metro SWAT team found the body of Sarah Positano at her Ranfield Road home early Saturday morning. James Trimble, Positano’s alleged killer, was found hiding in a closet after allegedly holding her hostage the night before, said Detective Charles Adkins of the Brimfield Township Police Department.

Trimble was taken into custody and is now at the Portage County Jail. His arraignment is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. at the Portage County Municipal Court.

Renee Bauer, 42, and her 7-year-old son, Dakota, were found dead when Brimfield Police responded to a call on Sandy Lake Road about 9 p.m. Friday after Trimble allegedly shot them both with several bullets, Adkins said.

A passer-by spotted Trimble running from Sandy Lake Drive to Ranfield Road in army fatigues armed with an assault rifle, and the passerby alerted police, Adkins said. When police caught up with Trimble, he fired several rounds at them and took refuge in Positano’s duplex.

Adkins did not know when Positano was killed but said she was shot several times. Police had surrounded Positano’s home from about 11 p.m. to 6:20 a.m. when the SWAT team went in, Adkins said. He could not comment on the SWAT team’s course of action between those hours.

Positano, who was originally from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, studied physical education and was scheduled to graduate from the university in May.

She was a coach’s assistant for the gymnastics team.

“When you see the hopes and dreams of a beautiful person ended in a very senseless way, it’s just a very difficult thing to understand. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Positano family,” said Athletic Director Laing Kennedy. “She was a beautiful person, energetic and enthusiastic — your typical gymnast.”

Positano was recruited as a gymnast at the university, Kennedy said. He found out about her death right before Saturday night’s men’s basketball game versus Marshall.

“It was the first time in a long, long time, maybe forever, that I just couldn’t get into the game,” Kennedy said.

The gymnastics team was in Oklahoma City for a meet Friday night, but Positano does not go with the team when it travels by air, Kennedy said.

“It’s a pretty difficult time right now. The whole athletic department is at a huge loss,” said Brice Biggin, the head coach of the gymnastics team. “Positano worked for us for 3 1/2 years volunteering. She got enjoyment from helping other people out. She did it just because she cares.”

Portage County Coroner Roger Marcial said he has never seen deaths like these three in this county. He did not know the motive behind the alleged murders.

Positano’s parents declined to comment and requested to be left alone. They spoke with the Akron Beacon Journal and said police told them Trimble forced Positano to dial 911 before shooting her twice.

Marcial expects the Summit County Medical Examiner to perform autopsies today, he said.

No funeral arrangements had been announced as of last night.

Contact safety reporter Sean Joseph at [email protected].