ELYRIA — A county judge on Monday approved $1,000 for a private investigator to look for additional evidence in the case of a Lakewood woman accused of killing her daughter and hiding the body in a North Ridgeville field.
Lorain County Common Pleas Judge John Miraldi granted the request after defense attorney Patrick Hakos said Janet Tyburski has given her lawyers new information that police didn’t look into while they were first investigating the death of Rachele Tyburski in 2015.
“She has provided us additional situations and evidence that we’d like to investigate regarding the death of her daughter,” Hakos said.
Hakos and Kenneth Ortner, another of Tyburski’s lawyers, declined to discuss what evidence their client had told them about, but Ortner did say during the hearing that his client wanted the media removed from the courtroom.
“She’s afraid with the publicity (it) will prejudice her case and stop witnesses from coming forward,” Ortner said.
Miraldi denied the request, saying the courtroom was open to the public and the press.
Defense lawyers previously said that Janet Tyburski acted in self-defense when she killed her daughter, whom they have suggested was abusing her mother.
They also have filed a not guilty by reason of insanity plea in the case, but mental health experts for the prosecution have found her to be sane and competent to stand trial. A defense report on her mental health has not been completed.
Police and prosecutors have said that Janet Tyburski suffocated her daughter at the Lakewood home they shared with Rachele Tyuburski’s then-4-year-old son and kept the body there for two days before enlisting her other daughter, Hannah Tyburski, to help her move the body.
Hannah Tyburski allegedly returned home from Oberlin College, where she was a student, and helped her mother transport Rachele Tyburski’s body to a field near Victory Lane in North Ridgeville. The body was discovered behind a snow bank March 15, 2015.
Janet Tyburski initially told police that she had last seen her daughter March 13, 2015, when Rachele Tyburski left home with a group of friends, but police later found security footage that led investigators to question that version of events.
Janet Tyburski was arrested May 5, 2015, and faces murder and other charges in the case. She is scheduled to go on trial in April.
Hannah Tyburski, 21, has pleaded not guilty to obstructing justice and abuse of a corpse and is awaiting trial.
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