CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley announced that a Cuyahoga County grand jury has returned an indictment charging Viktor Vendler, 22, for shooting and killing 74-year-old Leroy Johnston at the Mill Stream Run Reservation in Strongsville.

“For several months our community has sought answers to the senseless homicide of Leroy Johnston. I want to thank the Cleveland Metroparks Police Department for their tireless work on this case. Today marks the first steps of justice for Leroy Johnston and his family.”

Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley

On September 24, 2023, Viktor Vendler lured the victim to the Mill Stream Run Reservation near the Royalview Picnic Shelter in Strongsville. Vendler shot the victim in the head and then fled the scene.

On September 30, the victim’s body was discovered by a couple who chased their dog deep into the woods off the established trails. The Cleveland Metroparks Police Department and EMS responded to the scene. The victim was pronounced deceased on scene.

After further investigation by the Cleveland Metroparks Police Department, it was determined Viktor Vendler was linked to the crime. On May 28, 2024, Vendler was arrested.

On June 5, 2024, Viktor Vendler was indicted on the following charges:

  • Two counts of Aggravated Murder
  • One count of Kidnapping
  • One count of Tampering With Evidence
  • One count of Gross Abuse Of A Corpse

Vendler will be arraigned at the Cuyahoga County Justice Center at a later date.