The Murder of Summer Inman

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Will & Summer Inman

On Tuesday night, March 22, 2011, 25-year-old Summer Inman was scheduled to finish work at 11:20pm at her job as a janitor at Century National Bank. When she failed to return home as expected, she was reported missing.

At the time of her disappearance, Summer was living at home with her parents in Logan, Ohio; she was a recently divorced mom of three children, two girls & one boy, ages 5, 3 & 21 months. 

When Summer was only fifteen years old, she met seventeen year old William or Will through church. The two married when they were only teenagers & settled in a house next door to Will’s parents, Bill & Sandy who incidentally also met through church while very young & had been married for about 28 years at this point. Soon Summer & Will welcomed three kids into the world; with Bill & Sandy living so close, the young couple took advantage of having family to watch the kids as they went out with friends nearly every weekend.

Summer’s diary later revealed that she & her husband weren’t on the same page when it came to their idea of a happy marriage. According to Summer, Will was interested in a polygamous marriage & was actively looking for potential new wives on polygamous websites. She also wrote that shortly after they were married, Will became very possessive, controlling & even violent. Apparently Will expected dinner to be waiting on the table as he returned home from work & Summer wasn’t even allowed to go to bed without Will’s permission.

In 2006, the whole Inman crew relocated to Florida in order for Bill & Will to work in construction together, building hotels & such. They returned to Ohio in 2008.  In 2010, Bill started Mercy Ranch, an on-profit corporation, which he indicated was to minister orphans, widows & the homeless “to help people who lost their jobs or been cut back on hours to keep their homes”, he wrote in an incorporation document filed with the Ohio secretary of state’s office.

In order to afford to build houses for those in need, Bill decided to sell raffle tickets for $10 each & the winner of the raffle would win a new house. After the first raffle, they raised a couple of hundred thousand dollars though the building fell through & no houses were ever built. No one who purchased raffle tickets had their money refunded either. During this time, Bill was also trying to start his own church, though his minister’s license was permanently revoked. 

As strain on the relationship between Summer & Will continued, Summer met a man named Adam Peters. Adam moved from town to town, going where he could find work & Bill hired him to do odd jobs around the two family’s houses. Bill was a minister who was hoping to one day open a halfway house. Soon, a spark was lit between Summer & Adam which gave Summer the push she needed to file for divorce from Will in June of 2010 after six years of marriage.

Summer wrote in her diary:

I’m so tired of having to please everyone else but leaving myself  high & dry. Don’t I deserve to be happy too? Don’t I deserve to fall in love with someone again & feel love from someone again? I think so… I don’t know if it’s the right time to tell Willy or not.

I feel bad not telling him because I think he deserves to know the truth & to know that I don’t want to be with him right now. I want to be alone for a while & find out who I am again. I’m just some slave that runs around and does as she’s told. I love my kids with all my heart & I wouldn’t trade them for anything, but I don’t want them to grow up remembering their mom as someone that just did as she was told.

I just don’t know how Willy will react to all of this. I don’t know if he will get mad & try to take the kids & run, if he will threaten to hurt me, or worse yet actually do it.

All I want to do all day is cry & sleep. I just don’t know how to get out of this situation & have it end well. Maybe by the next time I write, I’ll have figured it out.

Summer & Adam began dating & Summer moved out of the home she shared with Will & moved in with her parents, taking the kids with her. Will moved in with his parents & they shared custody of the kids.

Will, Sandy & Bill did not handle the divorce well & Bill even threatened to assault Adam. In a sworn affidavit, Summer later said that Will threatened to kill her if she ever tried to take the children from him, that he would take her car keys, wallet & cell phone & hold her captive if she did this. Summer also said that Will took her cats & either killed them or abandoned them. Will claimed that he only took her keys & phone because he was suspicious that she was having an affair with Adam. He claimed that the cats were feral & had been destroying their furniture. He said he took the cats to an animal shelter after one clawed at his arm & shirt when he tried to pick it up one day. 

On December 1, the Inmans were being evicted from their home so Summer went there to pick up more of her belongings; she brought Adam & a deputy sheriff with. As she gathered her things, Bill told Adam to leave his property & wait at the end of the drive, but the deputy refused this request. Bill threatened to beat and/or shoot Adam & the altercation escalated with Bill wrestling the deputy. He was given misdemeanor charges, including resisting arrest & was fined & given probation without any time spent in jail.

Will & Adam happened to be Facebook friends & one day, he stumbled upon a family picture of Adam posed with Summer & his three children. After seeing that photo, many people heard the Inman’s say, “They posed in that picture like they are a couple, like they are a family!”  At one point the Inmans even filed false child abuse allegations against Adam. People started to notice a decline in 47-year-old Bill & 46-year-old Sandy’s appearance as they rapidly lost weight.

A custody battle for the children began & many noted the toll it took on Bill & Sandy, knowing that their lives had revolved around their grandchildren. Will tried to get full custody of the kids, but the judge refused; this happened only one month before Summer was reported missing on March 22, 2011.

As Summer ended her shift at the bank, she kept a consistent routine; she left all the trash at the back door until she was ready to clock out & leave for the night. There, she would bring the garbage to the dumpster, head to her car before driving home.  During her shift that night, Summer texted Adam throughout though her texts seem to suddenly stop. This, paired with the fact that Summer was late coming home, prompted Adam to drive to the bank to investigate. 

When he arrived, Adam found Summer’s iPod, car keys & cell phone battery on the ground by the nearby dumpster, in the alley behind the bank. He called Summer’s parents, Debbie & Michael Cook who then reported Summer missing.  

As police began their investigation, they went to the Inman home & they claimed that they were in Cleveland, about three hours away, looking for a new house the night that Summer went missing. They said while in Cleveland, their car broke down. Police noticed a white Crown Victoria car in the driveway; they obtained a search warrant & took possession of the car. 

When Debbie & Michael Cook called police, they were not the first to report suspicious activity involving Summer that night. Worried witnesses saw an abduction take place outside the bank, thirty minutes before . They saw two men wearing ski masks, tasing a woman & putting her in the back of their car as she screamed. One witness even tried to intervene but was pepper sprayed. They identified the car as a white Ford Crown Victoria.

After inspecting a GPS they found in the home, it showed that the Inmans had not actually gone to Cleveland as they claimed, instead they stayed in Logan, Ohio, where Summer lived with her family & where she worked. The GPS was in town until 5:30pm until the GPS was turned off. The next morning, it was turned back on at 7:30, the morning after Summer went missing; surveillance video showed Bill, Sandy & Will getting out of the car. There was no sign of Summer. In addition to washing the car, they also purchased new tires. The three were brought in for questioning; at this point, Summer had been missing for eight days.

Will & Bill refused to answer any of the police’s questions, though this was not the case when Sandy was questioned. She almost immediately told them that Summer was dead. She said that they had initially taken Summer as a scare tactic since they wanted her to be reasonable & allow them to see their grandchildren. Sandy said she hoped she would be able to have a calm conversation with Summer about wanting the kids on weekends, also reported it was her idea to take Summer. 

Once Summer was forced into the car, Will placed three zip ties around her wrists & placed a fourth around her neck. The zip tie was placed too tightly & Summer began to suffocate. They claimed they had no knife or other object to remove the zip tie & Summer died in the car as a result. When Sandy was asked why Will put the zip tie on Summer’s neck in the first place, she said that he “blacked out.”

The family drove Summer’s body to Faith Tabernacle church in Nelsonville, Ohio, twenty miles away from the bank where Summer was abducted. It was the same church that Bill & Sandy attended. There, they placed her body in an underground septic tank. Sandy accepted a plea deal & was sentenced to fifteen years in prison & that prosecutors would not pursue the death penalty against Will & Bill if she revealed the location of Summer’s body.

Will & Bill were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Summer was described as soft-spoken & shy though someone who could also open up & be a social butterfly. Her mom, Debbie, said that Summer loved ballet, jazz & drama club; she said that she tried sports in the past without success. “She couldn’t hit a baseball, she couldn’t throw a ball in any direction, it would just go its own way.” They later found out that Summer had bad vision, though even after she got that corrected with glasses, she still couldn’t hit a ball. Summer’s friends said she was always in a good mood, with a great personality & sense of humor.  Debbie remembers that Summer typically got in trouble in school from talking, “From the time she was born, Summer talked non-stop all the time.” Teachers had to move her around the room, trying to find a spot to limit her talking, but it didn’t matter, she would talk to anyone sitting beside her.

After Summer’s murder, her parents, Debbie & Mike were granted full custody of the children, Alex, Kaley & Allana. They try to protect the kids, being careful what information & how they share it with them. Debbie admits that the older they get, the harder it gets as they start asking more questions.  When Debbie was interviewed in 2012, she said that 4-year-old Kaley told everyone that her mom is an angel in heaven. At the time, she was too young to understand that her other grandparents & her dad were in jail & why. 

Debbie said that before Summer was murdered, she had planned to enroll in the culinary arts program at Hocking College with the goal of opening a restaurant with Adam Peters. The couple loved to cook together & dance in the kitchen as they did so. 


  1. Chilling Crimes: Summer Inman
  2. Summer Inman Murder: The True Story
  3. The Courier: Friends, family remember Summer Inman one year after death
  4. That Chapter: The Insidious Plot of the Inman Family 

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