News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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June 13, 2014

Police ID body found in Wabash River

Police warn of ‘very dangerous individual’ sought in homicide, want help with search

TERRE HAUTE — Heightened awareness is being urged by homicide investigators who continue to seek tips in a recent homicide.

“There is a very dangerous individual at large who committed this crime,” Chief Deputy Clark Cottom said Friday afternoon after the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department released the identity of a man found in the Wabash River on June 8.

The body of Michael R. Pollack, 50, was identified through fingerprints on record through Illinois police. Cottom said that police located and notified Pollack’s family of his death on Friday afternoon.

Police are not releasing how Pollack was killed or what type of weapon might have been used, however, Cottom said that his death was violent.

Originally from the Chicago area, Pollack’s last known residence was Timothy’s House, a shelter for men on Gilbert Avenue in Terre Haute.

However, he had not lived there for a few weeks, Cottom said.

“We need the public’s help. We need people to call in if they’ve seen Mr. Pollack or any associates with him,” Cottom said of the search for more information.

On Friday, police were posting fliers in the area between Gilbert Park and the Wabash River to the east and west, and between Cherry Street and Poplar streets to the north and south. That is an area Pollack was known to frequent as he walked around town, Cottom said.

Since Pollack walked with a limp due to a past broken leg, people may recall him, police hope.

Cottom also asked business owners in that area to check surveillance videos around the time of June 3 to see if Pollack or anyone with him can be seen.

Investigators have determined that Pollack was discharged from Union Hospital on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 3 after a brief stay due to an illness. He was seen around 4:45 p.m. on June 3 leaving the Octapharma Plasma Center near Walnut and First streets.

At 6:27 p.m. on June 3, he made a purchase at Dollar General east of Ninth and Poplar streets. After exiting the store, Pollack was last seen walking west on Poplar.

Cottom said that police hope the public will supply information on other locations visited by Pollack, including where he resided. He had not been staying at a mission or shelter in the days  prior to his death, but he was known to frequent soup kitchens and shelters in the past.

Originally from the Chicago area, Pollack had been in the Terre Haute area for the past two years. Cottom said investigators believe he followed work opportunities. He had previously resided in Effingham, Ill.

The man had no family members living in the Wabash Valley, which slowed efforts to confirm his identity and notify his next of kin. Relatives were located out of state.

Pollack’s body was found by boaters about 8 p.m. June 8 in the Wabash River, south of the Interstate 70 bridge, police have said. The body was recovered from the east side of the river, and it had been in the river for a few days, according to results from an autopsy performed June 9.

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