News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 23, 2014

Police: Major development in cold case

Announcement expected Friday in 1998 unsolved murder of Erika Case

Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A major development in a 1998 Vigo County homicide investigation is expected to be announced Friday by Vigo County Sheriff Greg Ewing.

The investigation into the death of Erika Lynn Case, then 19, on Sept. 6, 1998, was ordered to be reopened by Sheriff Ewing about six months ago. On Wednesday, Chief Deputy Clark Cottom told the Tribune-Star that a press conference is planned for 10 a.m. Friday at the sheriff’s department training room to discuss a major development in the case.

Cottom confirmed that there has been “chatter” in the Terre Haute community about the renewed investigation, and that online forums have been hosting discussions about the homicide.

The Case homicide will be featured on an upcoming episode of “Cold Justice,” a program that airs Fridays on the TNT television network.

The website for the television program features the following profile of the homicide case:

“Erika Case was a smart, precocious, 19-year-old who had graduated high school and was working part-time at the local mall in West Terre Haute, IN. It was a Saturday night, September 5, 1998, and she and her big sister Mary Case were house sitting for a family friend. After Mary left for her night nursing shift at the local hospital, Erika’s good friend Isaiah Dooley came by the house with his friend Clint Mackey. For the next few hours they all swam in the pool, drank alcohol and ate pizza. Early the next morning Mary finished up her nursing shift and drove back to the house. When she walked inside she found Erika lying on the living room floor, covered in blood, dead; she had been stabbed at least 33 times. When the Vigo County Sheriff’s officers first questioned Isaiah and Clint, they both made conflicting statements as to who saw her last, but both of the boys asserted that when they left the house Erika was alive and well. Erika’s murder has had a huge impact on the small, peaceful, suburban community of West Terre Haute and while there have been lots of rumors around town, no one has ever been able to determine what actually happened that evening or who is responsible for Erika’s murder.”

More information about the “major development” in the case will not be released until Friday morning, Cottom said.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or Follow her on Twitter@TribStarLisa.