John Fronk was suspected of robbing four businesses in three counties to support his heroin addiction
By Patricia Beech –
An armed robbery suspect died Wednesday after he was found hanging from a sheet in the Adams County Detention Center. John Kenneth Fronk II, of 1539 Burney Lane, Cincinnati, was arrested Monday after the First Stop Station at Panhandle was robbed at gun point. He was charged with aggravated robbery and kidnapping. Officials say that he was en route to buy heroin when he was stopped by deputies from the Sheriff’s Office. Following his arrest, he attempted to escape and had to be physically restrained by deputies.
Fronk was also suspected of committing armed robberies at The Family Dollar store in Manchester, a Speedway in Anderson Township, and a Marathon station in Mount Orab.
According to Sheriff Kimmy Rogers, a crime scene expert and two detectives from Clermont County were called in to investigate the scene.
Rogers said Fronk was under constant video and body-cam surveillance while in custody. The recordings have been turned over to investigators.
Officials say deputies checked on Fronk regularly throughout the night on Tuesday. He was found less than 20 minutes after the last check. Sheriff Rogers said that Fronk had a pulse and was still breathing when he was discovered by deputies. He was transported to a Cincinnati medical facility and put on life support. He died Wednesday afternoon.
“His death shows just how much trouble the guy was in,” Rogers said, “His behavior was typical of a heroin addict.”
Amanda Rogers, the First Stop employee who Fronk held at gunpoint during the robbery said she was still “very traumatized” by the incident. “He came behind the counter, and when I turned around all I could see was the barrel of the gun pointed at me,” she said. “I just kept thinking to myself, is this real, is this really happening?”
Officials said that Fronk had previously been convicted of theft and had a history of stealing from family members to support his drug habit. The week before his death he was arrested for violating a protection order, but was released when the order was dismissed.
“When drug addicts go down that path, when they get so far gone, they’re just living in a different world,” said Rogers, “He was a desperate man.”