Tammy Sue Birdsell

 Tammy Birdsell

Arrest made in case that's 4 years old

October 10, 2011

CARROLL COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - There's been an arrest made in connection with a shooting death committed 4 1/2 years ago. Victim's family said they feel as if they are one step closer to justice.

Dan Fassnacht, whom police said the victim was in a relationship, was arrested Friday on preliminary charges of voluntary manslaughter. He was bonded out on $50,000 bond.

43-year-old Tammy Birdsell from Flora was found dead outside of Dan Fassnacht's home at County Road 200 East around 3:00 on the morning of April 4, 2007.  The Carroll County Sheriff's Department said Birdsell died from a single gunshot wound.

Indiana State Police Sergeant Kim Riley said Fassnacht and Birdsell had a relationship, but he's not sure why Birdsell was at his house at that hour.  Police said Fassnacht claimed to have heard something going on outside in his shed when he called police and asked them to come check it out.

Police found a rifle lying next to Birdsell that was from Fassnacht's property.  Carroll County Sheriff Tony Burns said detectives questioned Fassnacht about the death of Birdsell, but then released him.

Birdsell had three children, ages 13, 15, and 20.


Nov. 30, 1963 - April 4, 2007

Tammy Sue Birdsell, 43, Flora, passed away early Wednesday morning, April 4, 2007, in Bringhurst. She was born Nov. 30, 1963, to Jim Jenkins and Carolyn Tyra. She was previously married to Jim Prater.

She had been employed as a day care worker. Her hobbies included fishing, camping and sewing. Tammy was a 1982 graduate of Delphi High School.

Surviving are her mother, Carolyn Tyra, Flora; father, Jim Jenkins, Yeoman; two sons, Dustin Prater, Flora, and Joseph Prater, at home; one daughter, Tabatha “Tabby” Prater, also at home; three brothers, James Jenkins, Jeff Jenkins, and T.J. Brower, all of Lafayette; two sisters, Lynn Simms, Burlington, and Teresa Sisson, Bringhurst; and two grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Reinke Funeral Home, Flora, following two hours of visitation. Creta Hollis will officiate the service.

Suzanne Saunders

Woman, Estranged Husband Identified In Carmel Shootings

Police: Handgun Found Near Man

October 11, 2011

CARMEL, Ind. -- Police are investigating the fatal shootings of a woman and her estranged husband in a Carmel condominium as a murder-suicide.

Carmel police said the bodies of Aaron Saunders, 46, and Suzanne Saunders, 50, were found Tuesday morning in a home at the Traditions on the Monon in the 900 block of 3rd Avenue, near 136th Street and Rangeline Road, 6News' Julie Pursley reported.

"Both bodies appeared to have gunshot wounds. A handgun was found in close proximity to the deceased male," Carmel police Lt. Jeff Horner said.

Police rushed to the home about 6:45 a.m., when the oldest of Suzanne Saunders' three children, boys ages 16 and 11, along with a 12-year-old girl, heard gunshots and called 911.

"(The children) were at home getting ready for school when their stepfather stopped by the house," Horner said. "They heard an argument break out between their mother and stepfather."

Soon after the argument began, the children heard the gunshots and heard their mother scream, police said.

Neighbor Debbie Edstrom described the horror of what she witnessed.

"I heard a woman scream, and I called 911, and I heard a young boy, a voice say, 'Mom,'" Edstrom said. "(The boy) had walked to the end of our building, and he met the police as they were coming into the complex and he was directing them to his house, and I heard him say it was his stepfather had come into the house and shot his mother."

Investigators said the boys ran out of the home after the shooting and that the girl hid in an upstairs room. They were not injured.

Autopsies are planned.

Latrice Long-Payton

 Latrice Long-Payton

Man accused of dumping woman's body in trash pleads guilty

Police said Coleman killed Long-Payton by strangling her and then put her body in the garbage.

September 29, 2011

A man accused of murdering a woman and then putting her body in the trash entered a guilty plea Wednesday.

Joseph Coleman, 29, pleaded guilty to the murder of Latrice Long-Payton, 29, in September 2010.

Police said Coleman killed Long-Payton by strangling her and then put her body in the garbage.

In October 2010, officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department received an anonymous tip there might be a dead body inside a home in the 5900 block of East Rawles Avenue. The caller told police the female was chocked and beat to death and then wrapped in plastic. The caller also stated there was a strong smell of rotting flesh inside the home.

According to a probable cause, Long-Payton was paying Coleman rent to stay in his house. He told police he last saw her three weeks before her body was found. He also told police the foul smell in his home was from dead possums he killed.

When police searched the trash can in the back of the home, they found the body of missing Long-Payton.

Police said Coleman told them he and Long-Payton got into a verbal argument, because he wanted her to move out of the home. He said she hit him in the face so he began beating and choking her until she died. Coleman also stated Samuel Taylor, 33, helped him wrap the victim’s body in plastic and place the body in the crawlspace of the home.

Taylor was charged with assisting a criminal.

Coleman will be sentenced October 28.

Tina Williams Daniels

Indy man held in shooting death of his wife

October 9. 2011

An Indianapolis man was arrested early this morning in connection with the shooting death of his wife on the city's Eastside, according to Indianapolis metropolitan police.

The suspect, identified as Kenneth Daniels, 62, was taken into custody after police arrived at a house in the 4700 block of East 30th Street. That’s where they found 50-year-old Tina Williams suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to her chest and arms.

She was pronounced dead at the scene when emergency services personnel arrived.

The suspect was holding a gun at the time officers arrived, according a news release from Ptl. Kendale Adams, a spokesman for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. Daniels told homicide investigators that he shot his wife during an argument, the release said, and he subsequently was arrested and preliminarily charged with murder.

Officers also discovered an unharmed four-year-old child in an upstairs bedroom. The child’s relationship to the victim or the suspect was not immediately known.  Daniels was transported to the Marion County Arresting Processing Center, where he awaits the filling of formal charges.

Child Protective Services arrived and took the child into custody. Tina Williams’ next-of-kin has been notified, police said.

9/11 and Domestic Violence

by Ben Atherton-Zeman
September 11, 2011

Both 9/11 and domestic murders have claimed thousands of lives. Over 3000 victims were killed in the September 11 attacks - about 2000 victims/year are killed in the United States by their intimate partners.

Both were results of terrorist attacks - 9/11 from Al Quaeda, domestic murder from "domestic terrorists." Both kinds of terrorists use fear, violence and intimidation to get what they want. But Al Quaeda terrorists are vilified, while domestic terrorists are often called "pillars of the community."

Our country's response to each has been completely different. We responded to 9/11 with the war in Iraq - hundreds of billions of dollars. We responded to domestic murder with funding the Violence Against Women Act and other federal legislation - hundreds of millions of dollars.

Why the disparity?

What's the difference between the victims of 9/11 and the victims of domestic murder?

One is gender - many more men kill their wives and girlfriends than vice versa.

But I think the main reason for the disparity is victim-blaming.

Nobody blames folks for going to work in the Twin Towers that day. But every day, people blame the victims of domestic abuse for the violence perpetrated against them. People say, "I wouldn't let anybody do that to me," not realizing the implication of blame for those who stay with abusive spouses and partners. People ask "Why doesn't she leave?" instead of "Why is he abusing her?" and "What can we do to help?"

I've had the honor of knowing people who responded to each. Ground Zero workers, people in the United States military who fought on behalf of our country. Advocates for domestic violence survivors, volunteers and staff at shelters for battered women. All heroes - all underpaid and overworked.

As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 arrives, our country will honor those who lost their lives on that day. We will honor those who worked at Ground Zero afterward. We will honor those who are serving in uniform.

But let us also take this opportunity to realize that we've spend 1/1000th of our country's resources on stopping domestic violence, than we have on the war in Iraq. Let us question why these victims of intimate terrorism get less sympathy than the victims of Al Quaeda terrorism. Let us honor advocates for victims of domestic violence, just as we honor our women and men in uniform.

(with thanks to Patty Branco of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence. Feel free to reprint and repost.)

Darrick Shelton

Darrick Shelton

Far-Eastside infant had been beaten to death

August 25, 2011

The Marion County coroner ruled that a 10-week-old boy found dead last week at a Far-Eastside apartment had been the victim of a fatal beating, police said today.

Police found the boy naked and on the floor of an apartment in the 9800 block of Gatewood Court at about 11:30 a.m. Friday, according to an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department report.

The boy, whom police did not identify by name, was not breathing when officers arrived. Medics took him to Community Hospital East, according to the report, but life-saving efforts were not successful.

The coroner found that the boy died of "multiple blunt force traumatic injuries" that cut off oxygen to his brain, Sgt. Linda Jackson said today. The death was ruled a homicide.

The boy's mother, Brianna Shelton, 22, was at the apartment when police arrived.


Mother Arrested In 2-Month-Old Son's Death
Briana Shelton Faces Murder, Neglect Charges

August 27, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS -- An Indianapolis woman was arrested in connection to the death of her 2-month-old son, police said.

Homicide detectives were called to an apartment complex near 21st Street and Mitthoeffer Road just after noon Friday on a report of a child not breathing.

When detectives arrived, they found the naked infant lying on his back on the living room floor.  The baby's mother, Briana Shelton, 22, was at home at the time.

The Marion County coroner ruled that the infant died of multiple blunt-force traumatic injuries.  Shelton was arrested Saturday on murder and neglect charges, police said.

Stacey Jo Lawson

Stacey Jo Lawson

Woman's body identified following autopsy

Monday, August 22, 2011

NEWARK -- A woman's body found in a wooded area near the Newark Baptist Church on Saturday had identified.  The victim has been positively identified as Stacey J. Lawson, 28, of rural Greene County.

"Family members have been notified. Foul play is still suspected and witnesses and persons of interest are still being interviewed or re-interviewed," Indiana State Police Sgt. Curt Dunril, public information officer for the Bloomington Post, said Monday evening.

No arrests have been made.

"At the request and on the authority of the Greene County Prosecutor Jarrod Holtsclaw, no other information will be released at this time. The victim's cause of death and rumors surrounding her death will not be addressed until such time as the investigation allows it," Durnil added.

An autopsy was conducted Monday afternoon at Regional Hospital in Terre Haute, however the cause of death is not being released.

Detectives and crime scene technicians from the Indiana State Police and the Greene County Sheriff' Department are continuing their investigation.

The body of the woman was found about 3 p.m. Saturday in a wooded area near Newark Baptist Church, located south of County Road 760 East and County Road 740 North in northeastern Greene County.

"A cause of death is not known at this time. It had been rumored the victim's death resulted from a domestic dispute with her spouse. That cannot be confirmed, as the victim was not married," Durnil said on Sunday.

Anyone with information about the body found in the Newark is asked to contact the ISP Bloomington Post at 332-4411 or toll-free at (800) 423-1286.


Victim will be honored with "Last Ride Home" after funeral
Thursday, August 25, 2011
By Nick Schneider

Family and friends of rural Solsberry resident Stacey Jo Lawson will gather at a Bloomfield funeral home Saturday morning to pay their final respects and then many will mount motorcycles for her "Last Ride Home" -- escorting the hearse to the Newark Cemetery after the service.

Stacey loved motorcycles and her grief-stricken family thinks it's a fitting tribute for this free-spirited woman.

The body of the 28-year-old mother of two was found last Saturday afternoon near the Newark Baptist Church -- just a few hundred yards from the cemetery where she'll be buried.

"I know her daughters are going to be crushed," Shaina Vincent, Stacey's younger sister told the Greene County Daily World. "Everyone is devastated about this. She was just a beautiful person. She was just so nice. She was the kind of person who would seriously give you the clothes off of her back if you needed them."

Foul play is suspected in the case that is being investigated by the Indiana State Police and the Greene County Sheriff's Department.

But no one has officially mentioned the word homicide, but family members say justice needs to be done in the case.

Authorities have been mum on the status of the investigation, but ISP Public Information officer Curt Durnil says that witnesses and persons of interest have been interviewed.

Shaina, who lives in Bloomington, called Stacey her best friend.

"She was a very outgoing person. She loved the outdoors. She loved her daughters more than anything. She was very caring and had a very big heart of gold. She was very popular and had a lot of friends. Everyone loved her and she loved everyone," Shaina told the Greene County Daily World on Wednesday afternoon. "She loved going to church. She attended the House of Prayer (in Ellettsville)."

Shaina was three years younger than Stacey, but the two were very close.

Shaina continued, "We did everything together. We were best friends growing up. I always wanted to be just like my sister. We were on the basketball team and worked hard at school and was always on the honor roll and made great grades."

Stacey and her sister were raised in their younger years near Solsberry and Stacey moved back to the eastern Greene County area about two years ago.

"We always played Barbie's together and catch crawdads in the creek. We used to go swimming together at the pool. We did everything together," Shaina recalled. "She was so loved by everyone. We are just devastated that this could happen to her."

The victim attended elementary school at Highland Park and later attended Bloomington North High School in Bloomington.

Stacey was divorced for a little over two years and the mother of two children, 8-year-old Lilly and 1-year-old Emily.

News of her death was a shock to everyone in her family and among her extended group of friends.

"It was all very surprising and unexpected. We never saw this coming at all," Shaina said. "I talked to her about 2:30 p.m. on Friday. I was at work and wasn't able to talk on the phone. I told her I would call her back. I talked to her boyfriend (Pat Lewis) and was told that she just ran up the road and would be back in a little while. He said he would have her call me. That was the last time anyone talked to her."

Bloomington resident Thomas Meadows, the fiance to Stacey's mother, Lori Lawson, also knew the victim well.

"She was a country Greene County girl. She was a sweetheart," Meadows said. "She definitely didn't deserve what happened to her ... it took us all by surprise.

"She was a free-spirit. Everybody loved her."

He added that he didn't know anyone who would want to hurt her.

Meadows said police and Greene County Prosecutor Jarrod Holtsclaw have been working closely with the family.

"The people who did this are very sick, demented people and definitely need to be off the street. The police have been very kind to us, the detectives have been very kind to us and the prosecutor has been very kind. He's going out of his way to make sure that nothing goes wrong and he gets the right people. The family, so far, has been very happy with what they are doing," Meadows said.

Shaina said she didn't want to speculate on what might have happened, because she indicated police are close to solving the case.

"Yes, there will be an arrest made," Shaina stated. "They are very close and they have a lot of information. A lot of her (Stacey's) friends have been calling and leaving tips and stuff. A lot of them are true and some of them aren't true and they (the police) have to weed through them all."

Funeral service for Stacey Jo Lawson, 28, rural Solsberry, will be conducted at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27 at Jenkins & Sons Funeral Home in Bloomfield with House of Prayer Pastor Larry Mitchell officiating.

Interment will follow in Newark Cemetery in rural Solsberry.

Friends may call from 2 to 8 p.m. today (Friday) and from 9 a.m. until the hour of service on Saturday at the funeral home.


Stacey Jo Lawson, 28, of Solsberry, passed away August 20, 2011.

Stacey was a free spirit and a member of the House of Prayer.

Surviving relatives include: her mother and her fiance', Lori Lawson and Thomas Meadows of Bloomington; Stacey's fiance' Pat Lewis of Solsberry; two daughters, Lilly Lawson of Bloomington and Emily Lawson of Solsberry; her sister and her husband, Shaina and Joe Vincent and their children Jude and Calvin of Bloomington; maternal grandmother, Joyce Pate of Solsberry; uncles, Buddy Pate of Bloomington and Jerry and Steve Pate both of Solsberry; aunts, Kathy Mitchell of Solsberry, Jo Godwin of Texas and Becky Andis of Bloomington; and many, many cousins and friends.

She was preceded in death by her father, David Lawson, one brother, Brandyn Beck, maternal grandfather, Leon Pate and cousins, Jessica and John Pate.

Funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, August 27 at Jenkins & Sons Funeral Home in Bloomfield with Pastor Larry Mitchell officiating.

Interment will follow in Newark Cemetery in rural Solsberry.

Friends may call from 2 to 8 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. until the hour of service on Saturday at Jenkins & Sons Funeral Home in Bloomfield.

The family asks that all memorial contributions be made to the Stacey Jo Lawson burial fund through any Old National Bank.

Online condolences to the family are available at

Tonya Scott

Tonya Scott

16-Year-Old Fatally Stabbed Brother's Fiancee

Woman Found Stabbed To Death On Bed

August 22, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS -- A 16-year-old boy has been arrested, accused of fatally stabbing his brother's fiancee, police said.

Officers were called to a home in the 800 block of South Auburn Street just before 10 p.m. Sunday after family members found Tonya Scott, 25, stabbed to death on a bed in the home, police said.

According to a police report, a neighbor told investigators that he had seen a 16-year-old who also lived in the home leaving the scene just before police arrived.

The 16-year-old was found a short time later behind a nearby Kroger store, police said. The teen was later arrested on a preliminary charge of murder.

Police said the 16-year-old's older brother and Scott were engaged.

The teen is expected to be waived to adult court. His name and mug shot will be released at that time.

Arthur L. Anderson

Arthur L. Anderson

Suspect arrested in scout leader murder

Man stabbed leader while group stopped on trail

22 Aug 2011, 3:15 AM EDT

BUNKER HILL, Ind. (WANE) - The Indiana State Police have released information on a murder in Bunker Hill, Indiana, about 70 miles southwest of Fort Wayne.

According to ISP, officers received a call before 3:00 p.m. Sunday of a reported stabbing on the Nickel Plate Trail in Bunker Hill. Upon arrival, officers found Arthur L. Anderson, 76, Kokomo, bleeding extensively from his neck. Despite medical efforts, Anderson died from his injury.

The initial investigation by an ISP detective revealed that a witness observed a male walk up behind Anderson and unprovoked, allegedly stabbed Anderson in the neck. The suspect then fled the scene in a black Jeep Cherokee.

Away from the scene, an Indiana State trooper located the Jeep and tried to conduct a traffic stop. The driver of the vehicle, Shane C. Golitko, 22, Bunker Hill, led police on an approximate eight minute pursuit. Officers were finally able to stop Golitko when they blocked the road near St. Rd. 218 and County Road 300. Golitko was taken in to custody.

Further investigation revealed prior to the 911 call of the stabbing, Golitko's mother, Valerie Henson, 48, Bunker Hill, also called police to report her son had battered her during an altercation at their home. She fled the home to a neighbors house and reported Golitko retrieved a knife from his residence and walked from his home towards Nickel Plate Trail, where he then allegedly stabbed Anderson.

The report further stated that Golitko returned to his home, destroying items inside. He also stabbed two dogs, killing one. He then fled the residence in his mother's Jeep. His mother suffered a broken arm in the reported battery. She was treated and released from a local hospital.

Anderson, another man, and two boys were on the Nickel Plate Trail as part of a boy scout outing. They had planned to hike about five miles from Bunker Hill to Bennetts Switch. The group had stopped along the trail to discuss and identify a tree, when the alleged stabbing occurred.

Anderson was the only one attacked, he had been involved in scouting for over 50 years.

Golitko is being held without bond in the Miami County Jail on a murder charge. He faces two additional felony counts for battery causing serious bodily injury and battery by bodily waste. He allegedly spat at officers while being processed into the jail.

Anne J. Stolarz

Murder-suicide suspected in deaths elderly Lowell couple

August 8, 2011

LOWELL — A murder-suicide this weekend of two senior citizens in this quiet rural community left neighbors filled with shock and disbelief.

Police Chief John Shelhart said an 84-year-old man and his 84-year-old wife were found shot dead in their home in the 300 block of Eastland Circle Sunday afternoon after their adult children came to check on the couple’s well-being.

Shelhart said it appeared the man first shot his wife, who had Alzheimer’s disease, in the head then proceeded to shoot himself. Shelhart said the couple was last seen alive Friday at a family gathering.

“It happened either sometime Saturday or early Sunday before the newspaper came,” Shelhart said.

Shelhart said family members were shocked by the discovery. They said the couple did not appear depressed during the Friday gathering, though they had experienced some recent financial setbacks.

The couple’s 401K ran out in July and they were heavily invested in the stock market and suffered serious losses during the economic downturn.

Robert Potter, who lives across the street from the couple, said he would often see the husband working outside in the flower bed.

“They seemed like nice people. We always talked,” Potter said. He said he was shocked when he heard the news.

“It just don’t happen here, something like that,” he said.

Neighbors Paul Mayer, Carl Skinner and Edna Miller were gathered at the mailbox in the subdivision of nicely manicured single family homes and townhomes talking about the events of the weekend.

They said Sunday police vehicles lined the street and blocked both entrances to the neighborhood largely populated by senior citizens, leaving them a bit frightened and wondering what might have occurred.

“I always found him to be a very polite guy,” Mayer said.

“He was a good neighbor,” Miller said.

“A very good neighbor,” Skinner added.

They said they were shocked and saddened to find out what had occurred in their quiet neighborhood.

“It’s an experience you don’t want to see or hear about again,” Miller said.


JOHN AND ANNE STOLARZ LOWELL, IN John and Anne Stolarz of Lowell, passed away Sunday, August 7, 2011. They are survived by their children: Janice (Jerry) Keilman of Lowell and Mark Stolarz of Fair Oaks; grandchildren: Sarah Ammons, Karalyn (Clint) Skinner, Mike (Danielle) Keilman, Marc (Julie) Keilman, Joshua Stolarz, Amy Dixon, and Sabrina and Dustin Stolarz; 10 great-granchildren; John's siblings: Anne Matusik and Walter Stolarz; and Anne's sister, Mary Hubbard. They were preceded in death by their son, Wayne; John's siblings: Stanley, Frank, Joe and Victoria Wojtan; Anne's siblings: Alex, Edward, Eugene and John Lukas. John and Anne were members of St. Edward Catholic Church in Lowell. He was a member of VFW Post 802 in Hammond and she was a member of their auxiliary. John owned John's Electric and Anne enjoyed cooking and being a loving mother and grandmother. They both enjoyed traveling and their cottage on Koontz Lake. A memorial visitation will be held Saturday, August 13, 2011 from 9:00-11:30 a.m. at Sheets Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 604 E. Commercial Ave. in Lowell with a Memorial Mass at 12:00 p.m. at St. Edward Catholic Church. Father Ted Norquist officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to Alzheimer's Research.

Joseph Snow

Man suspected in Parke Co. murder arrested

Aug 14, 2011 8:43 PM EDT

PARKE COUNTY - Police in western Indiana are investigating a homicide early Saturday morning.  Jeremy Musall was arrested on preliminary charges of Murder, Rape, Criminal Confinement, and Intimidation.

Police say Musall broke into the home of Joseph Snow and a woman in her mid-20's around 1:30 a.m. near Rocky Fork Lake in southeastern Parke County. Musall reportedly killed Snow, then took the body and the female resident's 20-month-old child into his vehicle, making the woman follow him into Putnam County.

Parke County Sheriff Mike Eslinger told television station WTWO in Terre Haute that police believe the woman found a cell phone and called police. Deputies pursued Musall, but he eluded arrest.

Working on a tip from the woman that Musall had family in the Cloverdale area, police located the suspect at his mother's home and arrested him. Snow's body was recovered in another part of Putnam County.

WTWO says the child was not harmed and that police believe Musall was a jealous former boyfriend of the woman.


PARKE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Saturday's murder case in Parke County has been resolved and the suspect is behind bars.

Saturday night the details were just beginning to come out from the murder. Saturday News 10 went to the crime scene and spoke with officials in Parke County.  The violent scene began at 5639 South one-thousand County Road East. Police say at that home, Jeremy Musall murdered Joseph Snow.

They also say during the altercation Musall also raped a woman inside the home. He then took Snow's body and the woman's twenty month old little girl and drove towards Putnam County.  Police said the woman called police while following Musall and gave them directions to his destination.

Police from Parke and Putnam counties caught up to Musall and arrested him.  The twenty month old child was not harmed and was returned to her mother.  The Parke county sheriff's office says the cooperation with the other law enforcement teams was crucial in catching Musall.

"I think everybody worked well together and obviously right at two hours we had him in custody. We’re very pleased that the twenty-month old was unharmed It could have gotten even worse. We're very grateful it ended the way it did,” Parke County Chief Deputy Bill Todd said.

The sheriff's office said they're charging Musall with Murder, Rape, Criminal confinement, and intimidation.  We're told those charges could change as the investigation continues.

Mary Swift

Mary Swift

Stereo Volume Led To Killing Of Women

Man Arrested On 2 Counts Of Murder After Indianapolis Shooting

August 12, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS -- A man was arrested Friday morning after a shooting rampage over a loud stereo that resulted in the deaths of two women and critical injuries to another man, Indianapolis police said.

The shooting happened about 1:30 a.m. in the 1700 block of South State Avenue, and officers who were patrolling the area at the time reported hearing shots fired.

Edward Lay, 37, of Indianapolis, was arrested on two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and being a serious violent felon in possession of a firearm.

The victims were identified as Mary Swift, 37, of Indianapolis, and Kelly Jinks, 33. The man who was shot was identified as Ronald Kortz II, 40, of Indianapolis.  Kortz underwent surgery Friday and was listed in critical but stable condition at Wishard Memorial Hospital.

Witnesses told police that Swift and Lay argued over the volume of a stereo and that Lay pulled out a handgun and shot Swift multiple times. She was pronounced dead at the scene.  Jinks and Kortz were shot as they tried to intervene in the argument, police said.

"Edward Lay attempted to flee but was apprehended … a short distance from the scene," said Kendale Adams, Indianapolis police public information officer.

Neighbors told 6News' Stacia Matthews that Swift has four children and had been dating Lay for a short time.  "Mary was an awesome woman. She didn't deserve this at all," said neighbor Edna Reeves. "She was such an awesome woman and her kids are going to suffer the most."

Arguments were common, neighbors said.  "They was constantly arguing over there. It get pretty high pitched, but I didn't expect anything like this," said Richard Reeves.

Lay has a criminal background, Indianapolis police said.


Mary Ann Swift, 37, died Friday, Aug. 12, 2011, in Indianapolis. She was a resident of Indianapolis.

Survivors include her mother, Patricia E. (Ralph) Tuttle of Texas; her father, Melvin L. Mann of Ohio; four children, Brittany N. Swift of Indianapolis and Dustin E., Dylan P. and Alexandria L. Swift, all of Franklin; a sister, Amanda N. Patrick of Plainfield; four brothers, Melvin Mann Jr. of Texas, Richard and Christian Mann, both of Ohio, and Brandon Seibers of Indianapolis; and a grandson.

She was preceded in death by a brother, Joseph E. Mann.

Private family services will be conducted.

Jessen Funeral Home, Franklin Chapel, is handling arrangements.

See post for dear friend Kelly Jinks here.

Kelly Jinks

Two Dead, One Injured in Early Morning Shooting

August 12, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS - Two women are dead and a man is in critical condition following an early morning shooting on the southeast side.

Metro Police arrested Edward Lay, a 37-year-old Indianapolis man, in connection with the shootings. He faces two preliminary counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and a serious violent felony in possession of a firearm. He is being held at the Marion County Jail without bond.

Metro Police were called to the 1700 block of South State Ave. around 1:30 am to investigate a report of a shooting. They found three people suffering from gunshot wounds in an alley.

Police say Mary Swift, 37, of Indianapolis, died at the scene. Kelly Jinks, 33, was taken to Wishard Hospital where she later died from injuries sustained in the shooting. A third victim was identified as Ronald Kortz II, 40. He is in critical but stable condition at Wishard Hospital.

According to witnesses, Mary Swift and Edward Lay were arguing over the volume of a stereo. Edward Lay produced a handgun and shot Swift multiple times, according to police.

A second couple, Kelly Jinks and Ronald Kortz II, attempted to intervene and they were shot. The suspect, Edward Lay, attempted to flee but was apprehended by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Southeast District officers a short distance from the scene.

See post for dear friend Mary Swift here.

Jasper Simpson

Jasper Simpson

Toddler's Death Ruled Homicide

Police: Officers Found Child Not Breathing At Apartment

INDIANAPOLIS -- The death of a 22-month-old boy in Shelbyville has been ruled a homicide.

Officers were called to the Martin Estates Apartments, on the city's north side, late Monday evening, Shelbyville Police Chief Bill Elliott said.

Medics found Jasper Simpson was not breathing and began CPR on the child. The boy later died at Riley Hospital for Children.

The Marion County coroner ruled Wednesday that Simpson died of blunt-force injuries to his head.

No arrests had been made Thursday evening.


SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (Aug. 5, 2011) -- Shelbyville police have a person of interest in the death of a 22-month-old boy.

Officers were called to the Martin Estates Apartments, on the city's north side, late Monday evening, where Jasper Simpson was found not breathing. He later died at Riley Hospital for Children.

According to a police report, the boy's mother told officers her son struck his head on a trunk and got sick. She said she put him on the couch only to find him later not breathing.

The Marion County coroner ruled that Simpson died of blunt-force injuries to his head.

Shelbyville police contacted 6News on Friday after neighbor Elaine Stickle said she witnessed abuse at the home, 6News' Stacia Matthews reported.

"All of a sudden, he (a man at the home) reached over and he slapped that baby with a thud, and that baby went flying into the patio door," Stickle said. "I said, 'Was that necessary?'"

Stickle told 6News she wishes she had called police.

"That was the only time I ever saw that child being hurt up there. It just didn't register," she said.

Police said they have a person of interest but are not releasing that person's name.

They are waiting for results of a pathology report, which could take weeks, before turning the case over to the prosecutor.

Harry K. Harris

Man, 80, Kills Daughter's Boyfriend, Stabs Self

Boyd Wright Expected To Be Charged With Murder In Slaying

POSTED: 10:58 am EDT July 13, 2011

MADISON, Ind. -- Police said a man killed his daughter's boyfriend, then stabbed himself -- possibly to establish a self-defense alibi.

Police in Madison said 80-year-old Boyd D. Wright Jr. did not approve of his daughter's relationship with 57-year-old Harry K. Harris.

Wright is expected to be charged with murder by the end of the week.

Police said that shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wright shot his daughter's 57-year-old boyfriend, Harry Harris, in the back -- then confessed to it.

"He made some statements that he retrieved a .20 gauge shotgun, loaded it, and shot Mr. Harris in the back," said prosecutor Chad Lewis."He made some statements that he was upset at the relationship Mr. Harris had with his daughter, and that he was at one point angry because at one point, Mr. Harris had sat in his seat at the dining room table."

Madison Police Chief Yancy Denning said when his officers arrived, Wright was bloody and holding a knife.

"We're under the impression that he was cutting himself," Denning said. "There's no indication that anyone else had cut him. When our officers got there, he still had the gun in his hand, attempting to harm himself."

Wright was treated for minor injuries at a nearby hospital, and then booked into the Jefferson County, Ind., Jail.

Family members refused to comment on the case.  Wright remains in jail, with no bond.

Harris is from Aurora, Ind. Efforts to speak to his family were not successful.

Jeremy K. Gibson

Jeremy K. Gibson (with unknown child)

Three Charged In Killing Poured Acid Over Body, Police Say

Man's Body Found Last Week In Shallow Grave

POSTED: 7:28 am EDT July 14, 2011

LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Newly filed court documents allege that three people charged in the slaying of a Lafayette man poured acid on his body to try to prevent authorities from identifying him.

The Journal & Courier reported that a probable cause affidavit filed Wednesday in a Tippecanoe County court supporting charges against the trio also allege that the suspects killed Jeremy K. Gibson, 26, by beating him with an ax or a shovel.

Carolann R. Clear, 20, Darren J. Englert, 20, and Antonio Williams, 25, were formally charged Wednesday with murder and conspiracy to commit murder charges in Gibson's death.

All three had been staying with Gibson in his downtown Lafayette apartment, and Clear had been dating him.

Police found Gibson's body Friday in a shallow grave near the north-central Indiana town of Montmorenci.

Some neighbors said they had heard Gibson had been fighting with Englert, Williams and Clear over a woman.


July 8, 2011 - A body found in a freshly dug grave in Tippecanoe County is believed to be that of a man police said they suspect was killed by three acquaintances.

Jeremy K. Gibson, 26, was reported missing Wednesday. The body was found at 8:30 p.m. Thursday in a field in the northwestern part of the county, police said.

"We believe these are the remains of Mr. Gibson. However, a final determination will be made by the coroner," said Lafayette police Capt. Bruce Biggs.

Carmen Ramos

Shooter Sentenced to 40 years in Prison for Killing Kids' Mom

Updated: Monday, 11 Jul 2011, 6:15 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Thomas Manjarez was sentenced Monday to 40 years in prison for the April 2010 killing of Carmen Ramos, the mother of his three children.

In June, Thomas Manjarez pleaded guilty to the death of Carmen Ramos.

Manjarez, 36, shot Ramos in April of 2010 and police in Texas arrested him in January.

Ramos, 33, was found face down in a pool of blood with multiple gun shot wounds inside her home at 1307 Huestis Avenue in Fort Wayne.

She had called police to her home multiple times to file charges for domestic assault, and had a protective order against Manjarez prior to the murder. But that order expired in early April, just days before the murder.

It was emotional in the Allen County courtroom Monday. Denise Spila, Ramos' sister, was there with more family members looking for justice. Spila thinks Manjarez deserved more time behind bars.

"I wish he got more time," said Spila. "I would have loved for him to be put away for life. Because she (Ramos) is never coming back so why should he have a life?"

Manjarez' mother Doreen Ramirez was also at the sentencing. She thinks her son got what he deserved.

"He's not a monster. He just made a bad decision," said Ramirez. "They will never forget, but God-willing they can forgive."

Under the plea agreement, prosecutors changed his charge to voluntary manslaughter.

Manjarez will also spend an additional 10 years on probation.

Beatrice Holdeman

Elderly couple found dead in home

Police: Appears to be a murder-suicide

Updated: Thursday, 07 Jul 2011, 11:26 PM EDT

MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) - A Muncie couple, identified as John and Bea Holdeman, both in their 90s, took their own lives Thursday afternoon.

They were discovered in bed by their daughter, who was visiting her parents from out of town.

“She'd been here earlier in the morning, and her father had sent her out to run an errand,” Captain Mark Vollmar with the Muncie Police Department said. “And when she came back, she found out they were both deceased."

John, he said, left a note behind.

“I think he was frustrated with the quality of life for both of them,” Vollmar said.

Bea was terminally ill and relied on hospice.

Vollmar said it was recently recommended that she move to a nursing home.

John had just received his own poor diagnosis.

One neighbor, Gene Calvert, who lived next to the couple for nine years had fond memories.

"They were very nice people, good neighbors,” Calvert said. “They were quiet, no disturbance, friendly, just as nice of neighbors as you could have.”

From another source (WRTV-6):

An elderly Muncie man likely killed his ill wife and then committed suicide in their home Thursday, police said.

Officers went to the couple's condominium in the 5100 block of West Churchill Court after their daughter called police to say she believed her father may have killed her mother.

Police found the victims, John Holdeman and his wife Beatrice, both in their mid-90s, dead from gunshot wounds in their home.

Investigators said Holdeman shot his wife, then lay down next to her and shot himself. Holdeman left a suicide note with a motive, detectives said.

Neighbors said the couple used to garden together outside their west Muncie condominium, but hadn't been out of the house much lately, 6News' Tanya Spencer reported.

"They both had issues that had happened recently and their health was deteriorating," neighbor Gene Calvert said.

The couple received hospice care and Beatrice was expected to be transferred to a nursing home soon, officials said.

The couple's daughter, who was visiting from California, found her parents dead.

"(The daughter) was standing over there shaking tremendously. Obviously something had happened. So my wife went over to help her," Calvert said.

Police said the Holdeman's daughter has some health problems of her own and had to be taken to the hospital to be checked out.

Neighbors who knew John and Beatrice said that even though they were in their 90s, they acted like lovebirds.

"It is sad. They were really nice, good people," Calvert said.

Police said the Holdeman's children all live on the West Coast and they had no other family in Muncie.

(Although I don't consider this a "violent" act, it is what it is so was included. My sincere condolences to their family.)


MUNCIE - Beatrice M. Holdeman, 95, Muncie, passed away Thursday July 7, 2011 at her residence.

She was born March 3, 1916 in Flint, Michigan, the daughter of Ralph and Vivian (Neyle) McBurney and graduated from Michigan State University in 1939.

Beatrice worked as a teacher for many years in Michigan. She was a member of College Avenue United Methodist Church where she was involved with A.A.U.W., and the P.E.O. Sisterhood. Beatrice also was a member of the Auburn Memorial Hospital Guild.

Mrs. Holdeman is survived by her three children, John W. Holdeman (wife, Cassandra), Dr. Mary Ann Clark (husband, Dr. Richard E. Clark), and Robert E. Holdeman (wife, Kass); six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Cremation will take place and a memorial service will be held 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at College Avenue United Methodist Church, 1968 West Main Street, Muncie, Indiana 47303 with Pastor Chip Gast officiating.

Family and Friends may call from 4:00 until 4:30 on Wednesday at the church.

The Meeks Mortuary and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.

Contributions may be sent to Indiana Masonic Home Foundation, P.O. Box 44210, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204.

Online condolences may be directed to the family at


MUNCIE - John W. Holdeman, 95, Muncie, passed away Thursday July 7, 2011 at his residence.

He was born August 20, 1915 in Leipseic, Ohio, the son of Lloyd and Vivian (Cottingham) Holdeman and graduated from The University of Michigan with a degree in Mechanical engineering. Mr. Holdeman retired from Borg Warner Automotive after thirty-nine years of service. During his career at Borg Warner he served as the Associate Director of Research, Vice President of Engineering, and the Product Engineering Manager where he developed thirty-five automotive patents. He had also worked for Packard Motorcar Company and Detroit Gear division of Borg Warner. After his retirement, John served as a volunteer for the International Executive Service Corporation in Korea.

His memberships included, The Muncie Elks Country Club, Wilbur A. Full Masonic Lodge # 1744, and College Avenue Methodist Church.

Mr. Holdeman is survived by his three children, John W. Holdeman (wife, Cassandra), Dr. Mary Ann Clark (husband, Dr. Richard E. Clark), and Robert E. Holdeman (wife, Kass); two sisters, Laura M. Hartman, and Elizabeth L. Dobbins; two brothers, Stephen Holdeman, and David L. Holdeman; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and a sister, Mary I. Gorham.

Cremation will take place and a memorial service will be held 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at College Avenue United Methodist Church, 1968 West Main Street, Muncie, Indiana with Pastor Chip Gast officiating.

Friends and Family may call from 4:00 until 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Church.

Contributions may be made to Indiana Masonic Home Foundation, P.O. Box 44210, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204.

Online condolences may be directed to the family at

Andrew Frye

Andrew Frye

11-Year-Old Boy Charged With Murder In Brother's Killing

6-Year-Old Boy Shot In Head

July 1, 2011

MARTINSVILLE, Ind. (WRTV-6) -- An 11-year-old boy is being charged with murder in the shooting death of his 6-year-old brother.

Andrew Frye was shot in the head with a .22-caliber gun at his home south of Martinsville on Thursday afternoon, the Morgan County Sheriff's Department said.

The 11-year-old was the only other person at home, just east of State Road 37, at the time of the shooting, and he called 911 afterward, police said.

Morgan County Prosecutor Steve Sonnega announced Friday that the 11-year-old would be charged as a juvenile with murder and criminal recklessness.

According to Indiana law, juvenile murder charges are immediately upgraded to adult charges, but only if the person is 16 years old or older.

Authorities released the 11-year-old's name Friday, but 6News' policy is to not release the name of a juvenile unless he or she has been charged as an adult.

Sonnega declined to release many details of the shooting, citing strict privacy rules in juvenile court.

"There are a lot of unanswered questions," he said. "The detectives worked all last night... and they will continue to work all weekend."

Neighbors of the young boys were shocked by the violence.

"It is very sad, very sad," said neighbor Louise Taylor.

"He (Andrew Frye) was a good kid," said neighbor Jessica Purgason. "He was quiet. He just wanted to play. That's all he was about."

Police originally thought that the boy's shooting was an accident.


MARTINSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) - The 11-year-old stepbrother of the 6-year-old fatally shot Thursday in Morgan County is being charged with murder, officials said Friday.  The 11-year-old is being held at the Johnson County Detention Center. A hearing has been set for July 6.

The two boys were home alone when the shooting happened southwest of Martinsville, near Liberty Church Road and Ind. 37, police said Thursday. The younger brother was flown to Riley Hospital in Indianapolis, where he later died.


July 28, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS -- The case of an 11-year-old Martinsville boy accused of fatally shooting his 6-year-old brother is raising questions about when sibling rivalry becomes something more serious.

The 11-year-old was charged last week as a juvenile with murder and reckless homicide in the death of Andrew Frye, who was shot in the head with a .22-caliber rifle at the family's home south of Martinsville on June 30.

The boys’ mother, Amanda Vandagrifft, 28, was charged Wednesday with neglect of a dependent resulting in death, a Class A felony, and three counts of neglect of a dependent, a Class D felony.

Vandagrifft's boyfriend, Matthew Boulden, was charged with three counts of neglect of a dependent, Class D felonies.

According to a probable cause affidavit, authorities believe Vandagrifft and Boulden should have known better than to leave the 11-year-old boy home alone with other children because he had acted violently in the past toward his siblings.

Court documents indicate that on the day of the shooting, the 11-year-old had asked his brother to clean his room. When the 6-year-old said he wouldn't clean his room, his brother told police that he went to get a rifle with the intention of scaring the boy.

Investigators said the boy had used knives and a gun in the past to scare his brother and sister into doing their chores.

The girl told police she once stepped between her brothers, telling the 11-year-old if he was going to kill the 6-year-old, he was going to have to kill her first.

Sharon Pierce with Prevent Child Abuse Indiana said most cases of fighting between siblings are not so severe.

"We all hear stories of what our big brothers or big sisters did to us when we were young, but usually, it's a very limited amount of harm that's done," she said.

But if the 11-year-old did have such serious issues in the past, child safety experts said the adults should have taken steps to make sure he did not have access to knives and guns.

The gun used in the shooting death of Andrew Frye was wedged between a desk and a wall in Vandagrifft’s bedroom, according to court records.

"I think always, as parents, we have to be so attentive to the safety and the reality of leaving our children alone and what is accessible in our home," Pierce said.

Pierce encouraged parents to talk to their children about violence and the relationships between siblings and to not ignore warning signs of a more serious problem.

Those who suspect a child is being abused or neglected are asked to call Indiana's Child Abuse Hotline at 800-800-5556. It's available 24 hours a day and reports can be made anonymously.

Authorities have released the 11-year-old's name, but 6News' policy is to not release the name of a juvenile unless he or she has been charged as an adult.

Michele Daughtery

Michele Daughtery

Noblesville Man Charged In Wife's, Cat's Death

Officers Find Lonnie Daughtery's Wife, Cat Dead In Ky. Hotel Room

June 26, 2011

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (WRTV-6) -- An Noblesville man was charged with murder and animal cruelty after his wife and cat were found dead in a Kentucky hotel room, police said.

Kentucky police said Lonnie Daughtery, 37, of Noblesville, Ind., was arrested at around 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Holiday Inn Express in Elizabethtown, Ky., which is about an hour southwest of Louisville.

Officers said they found the body of Michele Daughtery, 45, and a dead cat when the entered the hotel room.

Police said Lonnie Daughtery told them he was helping his wife commit suicide.

Elizabethtown Police Sgt. Tim Cleary said Lonnie Daughtery didn’t say why his wife wanted to commit suicide, but added he strangled her to aid in the attempt.

Police said Lonnie Daughtery was taken to Hardin Memorial Hospital with “superficial injuries.”


A Noblesville man is in jail accused of murdering his wife while the couple was in Kentucky.

Detectives charged Lonnie Daughtery with murder and cruelty to animals. Police said they found 47-year-old Michele Daughtery's body Saturday inside a room at the Holiday Inn Express in Elizabethtown, KY. Lonnie Daughtery was taken to a hospital with minor injuries. Detectives claim that is when Lonnie Daughtery told them he strangled his wife, helping her commit suicide. Detectives accuse him of killing their cat, which was also in the hotel room.

"I know Lonnie well enough to know he would do anything that Michele would've asked him," Dorothy Castle said. Dorothy Castle lives near the Daughtery's Noblesville home. Castle said she met the couple four years ago when they moved into the Lions Creek, a Morse Lake community.

Castle described the couple as the nicest people, impossible not to like. She said the couple lost their apartment around the time they found out Michele had cancer. She said the Daughtery's wanted to travel before Michele became too ill.

"I understood I guess that he did what he thought he had to do, but I was really upset because I just….I don't know how to explain to people the way this man loved this woman. He did it out of love. There was no in any way shape or form this man had any malicious {intent}. He loved her with everything he had and he gave up his life for her," Castle said.

Castle said she spoke to the couple on Friday. "Something must have happened to make this decision. I always knew she would make some decision, but i never thought it would happen like that," she said.

Lonnie Daughtery is at the Hardin County Detention Center in Kentucky where he faces a murder charge and cruelty to animals, 1st degree.

Roy L. Orman

Man, woman face murder charges as bodies are identified

Police: Gunshot wounds likely the cause of deaths

June 24, 2011

SALEM — The two bodies found on a property near Salem have been preliminarily identified, Indiana State Police said Friday.

Also Friday, Timothy R. Orman, 25, and Tammy M. Spengler, 23, who reside at different addresses in Palmyra, were charged with two counts of murder, two counts of aiding, inducing or causing murder and class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy for violating a protective order.

Although positive identifications have not been made due to the condition of the bodies, the victims have been tentatively identified as Orman’s father and uncle — Timothy M. Orman, 54, of 7600 Rosebud Road, and Roy L. Orman, 48, of 7598 Rosebud Road, an ISP press release says.

ISP also said Friday that the preliminary cause of death is gunshot wounds to both victims, although additional tests must be run to confirm the official cause. At least one neighbor reported hearing gunshots Sunday night.

The bodies were found in an outbuilding at 7600 Rosebud Road after the Washington County Sheriff’s Department received a phone call shortly after 11 p.m. Wednesday reporting the location of two deceased people. The state police have not identified who placed the phone call.

Spengler was arrested for murder after the bodies were located. Orman was arrested earlier in the day Wednesday for criminal trespass after a vehicle became stuck on a property in the 6400 block of Phillip Schmidt Road in Floyds Knobs.

At about 11:30 a.m., two men called the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department reporting a suspicious man on their property. Orman told the men his vehicle got stuck. He was covered in mud and not wearing shoes. The witnesses said he was “not making sense.”

An officer arrived and said Orman was not able to stand still as he described how they got stuck in the mud. He said they got lost driving to Greenville and attempted to turn around on the property.

He said he left Spengler, who was driving, near the vehicle when he went to get help. Spengler had left the scene when police arrived. The men who owned the property said they wanted Orman to be arrested for criminal trespass. He was transported to the Floyd County Jail.

The vehicle, a 1978 blue and white flatbed pickup truck registered to Roy Orman, was found in a ditch about 75 to 100 yards from the roadway.

Police impounded the vehicle.

See post for dear brother Timothy M. Orman.

Timothy M. Orman

Salem Murder Victims Tentatively Identified

Man, Woman Arrested On Murder Charges

June 24, 2011

SALEM, IN (WAVE) - The two people suspected of killing two Salem, Indiana men made their initial appearance in a Washington County Circuit courtroom on Friday.

So far, officials have only been able to tentatively identify the victims as Timothy M. Orman, and Roy L. Orman, both of Salem. The Washington County Coroner's Office and the Kentucky Medical Examiner's Office continue to work on making positive identifications.

26-year-old Timothy R. Orman and 24-year-old Tammy M. Spengler are accused of murdering the two men. Timothy M. is Timothy R.'s father and Roy is his uncle.

According to the probable cause affidavit Spengler called 9-1-1 Wednesday to turn herself in. She said the bodies of the two men were in an outbuilding on W. Rosebud Road and had been there for about two weeks.

"I guess after they had had the building open the buzzards started," said neighbor Meredith Baker. "They had gotten the smell...and that was it. I had to get out of here for awhile."

The preliminary cause of death for both victims is gunshot wounds. Additional tests are being done to determine the official cause of death.

"I always thought that Timmy could be dangerous," said Baker. "I though that boy was a problem."

Baker said she remembers hearing a gunshot from their house about two weeks before police discovered their bodies, but it's not unusual to hear gunshots in that neighborhood and Roy hunted.

The time of death for both victims has still not been determined.

See post for dear brother Roy L. Orman.

Jacqueline Baxter

Restraining Order Filed Day Woman Died

June 22, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Indianapolis Metropolitan Police homicide detectives have identified the woman found dead in her home Tuesday as 54-year-old Jacqueline Baxter.

Officers got the call around 10 a.m. Tuesday and rushed to the 9700 block of East 86th Street where they found Baxter’s body. Officers are calling the incident a death investigation.

However, court documents obtained by 24-Hour News 8 show that Baxter said she was in an abusive relationship with her husband Michael Sparks. A restraining order against Sparks was filed on the same day police found Baxter’s body.

In the court document, Baxter says her husband abused her and said, “If I don't live here, you don't either. To death do us part.” She also said she thought her husband was using drugs.

Police say Sparks is not yet a person of interest in the case and has not been arrested.

Officers are waiting on the results of an autopsy before they know exactly how Baxter died.


Jacqueline passed away in June 2011. Jacqueline was last known to be living in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Visitation: Saturday, July 2, 2011 10:00 am - 12:00 Noon Trinity C.M.E. Church.Service: Saturday, July 2, 2011 12:00 Noon Trinity C.M.E. Church Interment: Floral Park Cemetery.

(We are still watching for any further word on autopsy results, etc, and will post anything when it is publicized.  It has been frustrating not seeing anything yet, but we assume this is to keep details of the case quiet as authorities work on it.)

Dawn Marie Fital

Dawn Marie Fital

Body of Missing Michigan Woman Found in a Suitcase in Indiana

By Marlena Baldacci, CNN
June 17, 2011 6:43 a.m. EDT

(CNN) -- An extradition hearing will be held Friday for the boyfriend of a Michigan woman whose body was pulled from a swamp in Indiana, authorities said.

Divers found the body of Dawn Marie Fital, 45, stuffed in a suitcase Thursday.  Her legs, arms and head were bound with duct tape, said Rob Arnold, a spokesman for the Lake County police.  The 45-year-old had been missing since Monday.

Her boyfriend, Greg Noack, 44, was taken into police custody in Merrillville, Indiana, near where her body was discovered.  Michigan prosecutors have charged the suspect, who is being held in Indiana, with murder.  He will appear for an extradition hearing at the Lake County magistrate court jail Friday morning.

Police believe he killed Fital in Michigan, then drove across state lines, where he dumped her body in Indiana.  There is no word on when Fital's body will be returned to Michigan.  An autopsy has been scheduled for Saturday.


PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJBK) - Dawn Marie Fital, 45, became famous as a pool playing sharpshooter. An autopsy report released this weekend reveals she was suffocated. Police say her boyfriend, Greg Noack, 44, murdered her, stuffed her body in a suitcase, and dumped it in a pond 200 miles away in Indiana. Noack was arraigned on murder charges in Ypsilanti Saturday. He's the one who told police in Merrillville, Indiana that Fital was missing.

Visitation for Dawn Fital will be held Monday from 4-8pm and Tuesday from 2-8pm at the Ochalek-Stark Funeral Home, 218 East Main St., Milan. Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 11am at the same location.

Randall P. Poore

New Castle Man Charged in Dad's Death

June 16, 2011

NEW CASTLE, Ind. (WISH) - A New Castle man has been charged in his father’s death.

New Castle police said Randall P. Poore, 69, was found dead Thursday in his Indiana Avenue residence. His son, Johnny Ray Poore, 41, New Castle, was arrested and charged with murder.

The father was found with a chest wound, but the Henry County coroner has scheduled an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

The son is being held in Henry County Jail awaiting a preliminary hearing, set for Friday.


A New Castle man told authorities he stabbed his father in the chest with a kitchen knife after an argument prompted by the son leaving behind a wet floor after taking a shower.

Johnny Ray Poore, 41, was formally charged Friday with murder in the Thursday death of his father, 69-year-old Raymond Poore.

The younger Poore was arrested Thursday afternoon after a member of their extended family reported finding the victim deceased in a chair, with a visible chest wound.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the woman said when she entered the Indiana Avenue apartment shared by the father and son, Johnny Poore told her, "I think Dad is dead in the chair."

Johnny Poore told authorities the stabbing took place after his father threatened to call police during the argument over the wet floor. The younger Poore also said he had not taken his medication for mental illnesses in recent days.

At an initial hearing Friday, Poore received an Oct. 11 trial date in Henry Superior Court One. He is being held without bond in the Henry County jail.

Marsha Cocot

Marsha Cocot, pictured in center

Woman Found Dead in Gas-Filled Home

June 14, 2011

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Emergency workers found a woman dead from a possible homicide after arriving at a South Bend house filled with natural gas.

Police say officers went to the home to check on the well-being of a woman Monday evening after her husband attempted suicide in Elkhart with an overdose of drugs and alcohol.

St. Joseph County Sheriff Mike Grzegorek tells WNDU-TV that investigators are trying to determine how 38-year-old Marsha Cocot died and whether the gas filling the house was meant to cover up a crime.

Utility crews shut off the gas line to the home and some nearby residents were evacuated from their homes for a time until the gas dispersed.

Grzegorek tells WSBT-TV that firefighters wearing respirators found Cocot's body while searching the house.


St. Joseph County Metro Homicide arrested Brian Cocot, 38, on a preliminarily charge of murder in relation to the death of his wife Marsha Cocot, 38.

A Tuesday morning autopsy determined Marsha Cocot died of asphyxiation and blunt force trauma sometime before 5:00 p.m. Monday.

Marsha Cocot was found in the 19700 block of Southland Avenue in St. Joseph County after officials responded to a gas leak inside her home around 5:30 p.m.

It’s believed that Cocot intentionally caused the gas leak to cover-up his wife’s death. Neighbors close to police say Cocot dumped gallons of gasoline throughout the house and ripped open natural gas lines before fleeing the home.

Only hours before Cocot’s wife was found, Elkhart Police responded to a suicide attempt and found Brian Cocot apparently trying to overdose on alcohol and pills.

Paramedics rushed Cocot to Elkhart General Hospital. He is currently being held at the St. Joseph County Jail until the Prosecutor’s Office reviews the case for formal charging.

If there is one thing about Southland Avenue that sticks out, it’s that people mind their own business.

"There were some internal problems going on there, but it's not my business, so I left it at that,” neighbor Kurt Vogler said.

Last year, neighbors say Brian Cocot took a sledgehammer to his interior attic walls in a fit of anger. That damage can still be seen poking out of the home’s roof.

"Brian went out of his way to do things for other people. It's just that you could see the aggressive side with Marsha and his dogs,” neighbor William Pellow said.

The shock of it all came with guilt.

"Instinctively I knew better. Something kept nagging at me, telling me something was wrong and I didn't listen to what I should have listened to,” neighbor Jan Cohen said.

Neighbors say the sound of fighting coming from the home increased with time in the quiet neighborhood.

"We're living across the street and we had no clue. We were completely oblivious as we're working or watching TV or cooking dinner. All throughout, this woman is going through God knows what, with a poor excuse for a man that murdered her,” Cohen added.

If this murder can teach people anything, it might just be to take more ownership in their neighbor's business.

"I let her down; we all let her down, shame on me,” Cohen concluded.

The gas leak was not the home’s first criminal incident, St. Joseph County Police responded twice in the last two weeks in reference to threat reports.

Neighbors say the mounting tension had a lot to do with Cocot's wife Marsha and a girlfriend he kept on the side.

Emergency workers say this incident could have ended much worse.  Simply put, the gas pressure inside the home was such that firefighters believe an explosion was imminent. Such a blast would have sent debris in every direction and likely taken out other homes on the block.

Eric Bell

Eric Bell

Man Found Fatally Shot At Apartments

Police Called To Hearts Landing In Fatal Shooting

June 10, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS -- A man was fatally shot early Friday morning on Indianapolis' east side during an apparent domestic argument.  Indianapolis police were called to the Hearts Landing Apartments, in the 9400 block of East 43rd Street, a little after 3:30 a.m.  Police found the body of Eric Bell, 23, after there were numerous reports of shots fired.

"There were several individuals present with the victim at the time officers arrived on scene, and they have been cooperating with detectives," said Indianapolis police Sgt. Linda Jackson.  Witnesses told police that a suspect came into the apartment and put a gun in the mouth of one of two female occupants.

According to witnesses, Bell told the suspect, whose identity wasn't immediately released, that he had to leave the apartment.  Bell and the man went outside, and the suspect shot Bell, witnesses told police.

Other information from Fox59

Police are interviewing several witnesses in an early morning east side homicide that happened in the Hearts Landing apartment complex. Shortly after 3:30am, the 911 call center received several reports of multiple shots fired in the area of 9400 E 43rd St.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers arrived a very short time later found Eric Bell shot to death in the parking lot.

"He was a good loving father and did a lot for family and didn't have enemies wasn't a trouble maker or nothing he was a good person and I don't understand why somebody would do him like that," said Quintel Williams the mother of victim's children.

Police say there was a domestic fight earlier in the evening that involved Eric Bell and a possible suspect that may have led to the shooting.  There were several people at the crime scene when officers arrived and police say they have been cooperating with detectives.

Quintel Williams says it will be difficult moving forward, "It's gonna be hard cause I don't know to explain to my kids about their father being gone but I got support we gonna make it through make it through."


INDIANAPOLIS -- A man was arrested Friday, hours after another man was fatally shot during an apparent domestic argument on Indianapolis' east side.

Indianapolis police said Kendall Johnson, 21, killed Eric Bell, 23, at about 3:30 a.m. at the Hearts Landing Apartments in the 9400 block of East 43rd Street.  Bell's body was found after there were numerous reports of shots fired in the area.

Police said Johnson was arrested Friday morning in the 6000 block of Massachusetts Avenue on two outstanding warrants involving battery and resisting law enforcement.  Witnesses told police the shooter came into the apartment and put a gun in the mouth of one of two female occupants.

According to witnesses, Bell told the man that he had to leave the apartment.  Bell and the man went outside, and the suspect shot Bell, witnesses told police.

Angela Holder

Bloomington Suspect in Stabbing Death of Woman Was Just Out of Jail

By Laura Lane
June 8, 2011

Angela Holder’s 16-year-old daughter came home Tuesday afternoon and found her family’s apartment locked and her mom’s car gone. So she and her grandmother contacted the maintenance man to let them inside, where they found Holder dead in a pool of blood.

The 39-year-old mother of two had been stabbed, at least nine times, in the neck and upper chest. Police believe her ex-boyfriend, 48-year-old Bruce Edward Foster, killed her with a butter knife he had attempted to use to pry open a window at the Canterbury Square apartment.

Foster, who lives in Southcrest Mobile Home Manor on Gordon Pike and has a lengthy criminal record, had not been arrested as of Wednesday evening. He is black, six-foot-one and weighs 142 pounds. Police say he is armed and dangerous..

Foster was released from jail Monday after a court hearing and is scheduled to be sentenced July 28 on charges of possessing cocaine and maintaining a common nuisance from an April 1 arrest.  During that hearing, a deputy prosecutor asked Judge Kenneth Todd to keep Foster in jail. Instead, the judge allowed Foster to be released and ordered him to check in daily at the probation department until the sentencing.  Holder attended the hearing, and when it was over asked where she should go to pick up Foster.  The very next day, police say, Foster killed Holder, who apparently had broken off their relationship for another man.

Bloomington Police Department Detective William Jeffers outlined in court Wednesday what police believe happened at 512 S. Basswood Drive, Apt. C, on Tuesday afternoon. Senior Judge Elizabeth Mann then issued an arrest warrant charging Foster with murder, auto theft and being a habitual criminal offender.

Jeffers gave the following account: A man who lives across from Holder’s apartment said he stepped outside to smoke a cigarette between 10 and 10:30 Tuesday morning. He reported seeing Foster with a 10-inch butter knife, trying to pry open a second-story window at Holder’s residence.

The victim then pulled up in her blue Chrysler Concorde, and she and Foster started arguing. The neighbor saw Foster holding the knife, and said Holder went inside and then threw what appeared to be Foster’s belongings out the door. He said Foster then forced his way into the apartment and the door closed.

He reported hearing “six or seven thumps” before Foster emerged from the front door, got into Holder’s car and drove away. Just five minutes passed, the neighbor said, from the time Holder came home to Foster leaving in her Chrysler.

The woman’s daughter told police Holder and Foster were no longer in a relationship.  “Her interest in another man may have been the motive for this crime,” Jeffers told the judge.

Foster’s criminal record in Monroe County goes back to a 1986 forgery charge. He has five felony convictions, for forgery, burglary, theft, fraud and receiving stolen property.  In Owen County, between 1997 and 2000, Foster was arrested for battery and for domestic battery against his former wife, who divorced him in 2002. Foster also was cited five times in Owen County for letting his dogs run loose.

Three times in the past, the Monroe County prosecutor’s office filed habitual offender petitions against Foster. Such a petition can be filed if a defendant has two prior unrelated felony convictions; it adds substantial jail time to a sentence.  Each time, the petitions were dismissed.

The first was in 2002, when Foster agreed to plead guilty to fraud if the habitual offender charge disappeared. The habitual offender sentence enhancement was filed again in 2008, when Foster was charged with battery on a corrections officer. Because the charge applies to prison staff and not to local jailers, it was reduced to a misdemeanor, so there was no felony conviction.

Then in August 2010, the prosecutor’s office filed a third habitual criminal petition against Foster when he was charged with theft for reaching through the open window of a car and stealing a purse.

“Although clearly that does constitute a felony theft, there were not sufficient aggravating circumstances to justify the imposition of that sanction,” Monroe County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Bob Miller said when asked why the habitual offender petition was dismissed. “We filed it to induce a guilty plea to the charge.”  Foster did plead guilty, to a less-serious charge of conversion, and spent 77 days in jail.

The victim and Sean Holder, the father of her two daughters, divorced in March 2009. Court records indicate that more than a year later, in May 2010, there were concerns about the custody and safety of the children.  Monroe Circuit Judge Francie Hill spoke with both parents and one of the daughters, then ordered the probation department to “conduct a criminal investigation of the mother’s current boyfriend, Bruce E. Foster.” The confidential report was made available to both parents for viewing in the judge’s office.


June 10, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The man wanted in connection with Tuesday’s fatal stabbing in Bloomington turned himself in to police Friday in Indianapolis.

Bruce Edward Foster, 48, was wanted in Bloomington on charges including murder in connection with the death of Angela Holder, who was found dead in her apartment Tuesday evening.

Witnesses told police they saw Foster and Holder arguing outside of her apartment on Basswood Drive earlier Tuesday, then Holder failed to show up for work Tuesday evening.

Police said Foster left the scene in Holder’s car. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police said Foster told them Friday that he drove the victim’s car to the Wheeler Mission in downtown Indianapolis

He is being held Friday in Marion County Jail on a hold for Monroe County. This is the second time Foster has been arrested in Indianapolis on a warrant out of Monroe County.

Devon Parsons

Devon Parsons

Two arrested for murder of 12-year-old

By Daniel Miller, WISH-TV
June 5, 2011

A 12 year-old Greensburg boy is dead. Police said Devin Parsons was murdered. The boy's mother and her boyfriend are now behind bars. It happened in the 600 block of E. Washington Street in Greensburg.

A lone teddy-bear sits outside near the home where Greensburg police say a 12 year-old Devin Parsons died Friday. Crime tape also surrounds the home where several police standing guard. Late Friday night police arrested the boy's mother, 29 year-old Tasha Parsons and her boyfriend, 30 year-old Waldo Jones. Investigators said little Devin was murdered.

"I kind of almost expected it, but definitely in awe, like wow," said Bobbie Gilland.

Gilland is Jones' sister. Gilland said she contacted authorities numerous times this year about the boy and his siblings’ safety. She told 24 Hour News 8 she alerted investigators the children inside the home were in danger.

"I told them about how he didn't allow the kids lunch; how he beat them if they missed the bus, they had to wake themselves up," Gilland said.

Gilland wasn't the only one who called police.  Stacy Damaree alerted authorities too.

"I called CPS numerous times myself, you know hoping that something would be done about these kids and now it's a shame that this had to happen this way," Damaree said.  "Even though Gilland and Damaree say they called police about what was going on inside that house, we weren't able to find anything on Tasha Parsons. However, we did find a criminal past on Waldo Jones.

According to Indiana Department of Corrections, Jones was released from prison in July of 2010.  Jones had been sentenced in August of 2009 for operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a prior conviction for OWI on his record.  "I just think something should have and could have been done," said Gilland.

Damaree said she's feels awful something like this happened.  "I hope that they wake up and realize that they are getting calls like this, this isn't no joke. This is children's lives," Damaree said.

The Decatur County Prosecutor released a statement to 24 Hour News 8.  James Rosenberry said his office anticipated filing criminal charges against Tasha Parsons Monday morning.


June 15, 2011

GREENSBURG, Ind. -- Court records detail a gruesome scene in the home of a 12-year-old boy police said was beaten to death by his mother.

The Decatur County coroner ruled last week that Devin Parsons, who was found dead in his family's Greensburg home June 3, died of multiple traumatic blunt-force trauma from head to toe.

Police said his mother, Tasha Parsons, 29, admitted to using her hands, feet, a belt and a metal tray to beat her son over a period of several hours while her boyfriend, Waldo Jones Jr., watched.

Court documents released Wednesday show police found blood in nearly every room in the home, on walls, furniture and clothing.

Investigators also took into evidence an empty medicine bottle, a framed picture of Devin with broken glass and dozens of cigarette butts throughout the home.

6News' Joanna Massee spoke Wednesday to Kristi Schofner, who called 911 the day Devin was found dead.

Schofner said Jones rode his bicycle to her home and told her the boy was unresponsive, telling her different versions of what had happened to the child.

"First, he was mentioning that he might have been drowned, then he said his mom laid on him and he couldn't breathe," Schofner said.

Schofner said she only met Devin Parsons a few times.

"They never ever had their kids. Devin watched the kids (his siblings) constantly if they weren't at her dad's house," Schofner said. "He didn't even have a good childhood. He had a miserable childhood."

Jones's former friend, Rick Peetz, said he also spoke with Jones after the beating.

"He said, 'There's a little boy up there, and I don't think he's breathing.' I said, 'Oh my God,'" Peetz recounted.

Jones was charged with neglect of a dependent causing death.

Parsons, who faces a murder charge, said she beat the boy because he had hidden her pain pills and wouldn't tell her where they were.

According to court records, the Department of Child Services had previously investigated Devin's home in 2009.