Today, Hamilton County Prosecutor Melissa Powers announced the indictment of Robert Stewart for the 2003 murder of Herman Brown.

Stewart (DOB 3/28/59) was indicted for two counts of Murder (SF) and one count of Felonious Assault (F2). If convicted on all charges, he faces a maximum possible sentence of life in prison.

On February 15, 2003, Cincinnati Police were dispatched to 2572 Sarvis Court to conduct a wellness check. The 911 caller reported a strong odor coming from the apartment.

Upon entering the apartment, Cincinnati officers discovered the victim lying naked on the floor, deceased.  The victim had an extension cord wrapped around his neck and had suffered numerous stab wounds. Blood was found in the victim’s bathroom sink.

Among other evidence, investigators collected 6 cigarette butts, a DNA swab of the victim’s genitals, and a blood lift from the bathroom sink. Two DNA profiles were found in the blood from the bathroom sink – the victim’s and an unknown individual. That unknown DNA profile also matched the DNA found on the victim’s genitals and some of the cigarette butts collected from the scene.

However, investigators were not able to match the unknown DNA profile to a suspect. After exhausting all leads, the investigation into the homicide of Herman Brown went cold.

Recently, the unknown DNA profile from the cigarette butts was re-extracted and entered into a forensic genetic genealogy search. That search returned a possible suspect of Robert Stewart. Further DNA analysis confirmed Robert Stewart was the source of DNA located at the crime scene.

On September 15, 2023, Stewart was arrested in Lima, Ohio and extradited back to Hamilton County. He is currently in custody in the Hamilton County Justice Center on a $500,000 bond.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Melissa Powers commented, “The Cincinnati Police Homicide Unit should be commended. These dedicated detectives never give up on their cases. They never give up on their victims. They will continue to investigate until the case is solved – no matter how long it takes.

The genealogy databases have proved to be a powerful tool for law enforcement to solve cases that have been cold for years.

I am thankful we are finally able to bring closure to Herman Brown’s family and friends.”