Angela Metheny

Angela Metheny

Police Say Man Killed Former Wife, Self in LaPorte County

Body in Michigan City parking lot leads to woman's body at home

April 11, 2007|By STAN MADDUX Tribune Correspondent

MICHIGAN CITY - Police say a man broke into the home he used to live in and fatally shot his ex-wife. He then drove to a church parking lot and killed himself.

That's the picture being drawn Wednesday by LaPorte County Police investigating a second double shooting in less than 24 hours.

Keith Metheny, 47, and Angela Metheny, 37, were divorced and he no longer lived in the couple's marital home at Hunter's Run, a subdivision along U.S. 20 north of LaPorte.

About 9 a.m. Tuesday, Michigan City officers were called to St. John's United Church of Christ near the U.S. 421 and U.S. 20 intersection.  Metheny was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head in a Jeep in the church parking lot, police said.

About five hours later, officers from Michigan City went to the couple's former marital home, where Angela Metheny still resided, to notify her about his death, said LaPorte County Sheriff Mike Mollenhauer.  They discovered a rear door on the walk-out basement had been forced open. Inside the residence police found Angela Metheny's body, also the victim of a fatal gunshot wound.

"All indications at this time are it appears connected," said Mollenhauer, who emphasized the investigation is continuing.

According to neighbors, Angela Metheny was employed in nursing care.  Keith Metheny was a welder at Jet Fabricators Inc. in Michigan City since 1994.

"He never missed work. He was very dependable. He was the last guy I would expect to do this," said Darrell Cleek, vice president in charge of production at the steel fabricating plant.


ROLLING PRAIRIE - Investigators continue to piece together the details of what happened sometime before 9:25 a.m. Tuesday when Keith Metheny, 47, was found dead of an apparent suicide in his Jeep parked at St. John's United Church of Christ, 101 St. John Road.

Later on Tuesday, Metheny's former wife, Angela, 37, was found dead when police went to her home in the Hunter's Run subdivision near U.S. 20 and Fail Road, west of Rolling Prairie, to notify her of the death.

Police said she had been shot in the head, but haven't said anything further in the case, which appears to be a murder-suicide.

The brother of Keith Metheny, Dennis Metheny, the Coolspring Township trustee and host of a cable talk show as well as co-host of a radio call-in show, declined to comment until autopsies were completed in South Bend today.

According to Superior Court records, Keith Metheny filed for divorce on March 7, 2003, after the couple separated on Feb. 20. The divorce was finalized March 1, 2006. The couple was married July 21, 1990, in Michigan City, and had no children.

The divorce decree awarded the house on Sportsman Lane and a 2002 Ford Taurus to Angela Metheny, and a 2003 Jeep Wrangler to Keith Metheny. The couple agreed to the division of other property.

Angela Metheny did not request to have her name restored to her maiden name of Avila. Her mother, Jeanette Avila, and a sister would not comment Wednesday, saying they were still in mourning.

The St. John's church office manager, who preferred not to be named, said Wednesday that she called Michigan City police at about 9 a.m. Tuesday, at the time the church's preschool started. A mother had dropped off her child and came to the church office to report that a Jeep was parked in the back of the lot with a man who was “either asleep or dead.”

The mother was concerned for the safety of children.

A short time later, a Comcast Cable employee whose child attends the preschool called 911 to report that he saw a man with a wound to the head inside the Jeep.

Michigan City police officer David Fleck arrived at the scene at 9:25 a.m. to begin an investigation that eventually led to the discovery of Angela Metheny at her home at 808 E. Sportsman Lane, in the Hunter's Run subdivision.

Neighbors across the street and immediately west of the Metheny home on Sportsman Lane also would not comment, saying they were close to both parties.