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17-year-old to face murder charges in deaths of brothers

OTTAWA, Ohio – A 17-year-old who pointed Ohio authorities to the bodies of two teenage brothers who had been reported missing was charged with aggravated murder in their deaths.

The teen, who has been in custody for about a week, was charged with delinquency in connection with aggravated murder, a prosecutor said Friday.

Putnam County Prosecutor Gary Lammers also has asked a judge to transfer the case from juvenile to adult court.

The brothers – 14-year-old Blaine Romes and 17-year-old Blake Romes – lived together with the third teen and their mothers inside a trailer home in Ottawa, neighbors said. All three teenagers were named in an Amber Alert last week after the brothers’ mother returned to the home and found a gun and blood.

The 17-year-old was taken into custody May 9, several hours after he was detained at a gas station in Columbus after stopping to ask for directions, authorities said.

The Associated Press previously identified the 17-year-old boy, but now is withholding his name because he has been charged as a juvenile.

The boy’s attorney and his mother have declined to comment. He had already pleaded not guilty to a grand theft auto charge.

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said the 17-year-old told officers the brothers were dead and gave the locations of their bodies. Few other details have been released about the case.

Autopsies have been completed, but the county coroner has refused to release the results.