Police seek Ohio man in deaths of 2 Mich. sisters

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Associated Press

Posted on July 15, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Updated Sunday, Jul 15 at 8:01 PM

BLISSFIELD, Mich. (AP) — A nationwide search was under way Sunday for a 38-year-old ex-convict from Ohio suspected of shooting his ex-girlfriend and her sister to death and wounding their mother in southeastern Michigan.

State police Lt. Mardella Horhn said Thomas J. Fritz, of Sylvania, Ohio, hasn't been charged but is wanted for questioning. Fritz was released from an Ohio prison in 2008 after serving a 1-year sentence for criminal sexual conduct.

"Fritz may be en route to Ohio," state police Detective Sgt. Marc Moore said in a statement. "He is believed to be armed and dangerous. Citizens should contact police immediately and not approach him."

Lisa Gritzmaker, 24, Amy Merrill, 34, and their mother were shot at Merrill's home about 11:40 p.m. Friday in Blissfield, located about 20 miles northwest of Toledo, Ohio.

"Blissfield police responded to a 911 call from one of the victims," Moore said. "When they arrived, they found that three people were shot; two fatally and the third victim is hospitalized.

The mother was conscious and expected to live. State police have not released her name.

Police said that Fritz was Merrill's estranged boyfriend.

"This doesn't happen in Blissfield," Shelby Piotter-Anderson, a friend of the sisters and lifelong Blissfield resident, told The Blade of Toledo, Ohio. "I'm still kind of in shock. We've had car break-ins and other stupid little things, but I would never have expected this."

Butler told the newspaper she walked home from the fireworks at Blissfield River Raisin Festival on Friday and didn't notice anything abnormal when she passed the home.

"I heard nothing and really saw nothing until the ambulance came," Butler said.

Fritz is a white male, is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 186 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes. Fritz was reported to be driving a burgundy or maroon 2002 four-door Honda with Ohio plates EQP8075.

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