News From Terre Haute, Indiana

June 9, 2014

HOMICIDE: Body found in Wabash

Police estimate that victim was in river for a few days; method of death being withheld

Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Authorities have released a description of a homicide victim found Sunday evening in the Wabash River.

The victim is described as a white male about 5-feet-6 to 5-feet-8 inches tall. His weight is approximately 140 to 170 pounds. His age is 35 to 55 years old.

 Boaters found the body around 8 p.m. Sunday in the river south of the Interstate 70 bridge, police said. The body was recovered from the east side of the river.

An autopsy Monday morning revealed that within the past seven years the man had suffered a broken right femur (thigh bone) that would have required medical treatment. There were no visible tattoos on the man’s arms, torso or legs. No identification was found on the body.

 The autopsy results indicated that the person had been in the river for a few days, said Chief Deputy Clark Cottom of the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department.

“The method used to kill the man will not be released at this time for investigative reasons,” Cottom said.

He did note that the man does not appear to be a missing person being sought by the Terre Haute Police Department. The subject in that case has been missing since February, he said, and the physical description of that man does not match the body recovered Sunday from the river.

Detectives will attempt to use fingerprint technology to identify the body, Cottom said, but the man must have fingerprints on file to establish a match.

He said the investigation will look into river conditions to see what distance the body might have traveled in the water.

Cottom said information from the public will help in identifying the man. Anyone with information about a missing family member, friend or neighbor is asked to contact the sheriff’s department at 812-462-3226 or to report information anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 812-238-STOP.

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