News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

November 9, 2012

Estranged husband faces misdemeanor charge

Formal charges coming next Wednesday

TERRE HAUTE — The estranged husband of a Terre Haute woman whose remains were found Saturday in eastern Vigo County faces a misdemeanor charge for violating a no-contact order with the victim.

Criminal charges related to the homicide of Allyson J. Elmi-Lewis, 39, have not been filed against Enzert G. Lewis, 38, who is considered a person of interest in the woman’s death.

Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt said Thursday afternoon that he cannot comment on a possible connection between Lewis and the current investigation into Elmi-Lewis’ death.

Lewis appeared in Vigo Superior Court 4 on Thursday where Judge Christopher Newton set his bail at $15,000 cash on the class-A misdemeanor of invasion of privacy. Newton ordered that formal charges against Lewis on the protective order violation to be filed by next Wednesday, and the judge set a 9:30 a.m. hearing for that case.

During Thursday morning’s hearing, Chief Deputy Prosecutor Rob Roberts noted that the no-contact order was issued in July 2011, as the result of a domestic violence charge against Lewis. In that case, Elmi-Lewis was the victim.

However, investigators have found that Lewis made at least five phone calls from the Vigo County Jail to the woman in December 2011, that he apparently moved in with the woman in May 2012, and that mail addressed to Lewis was delivered to the apartment of Elmi-Lewis, indicating that Lewis lived with the woman. The couple were also seen together in public after the no-contact order was issued. Roberts said that those actions allegedly violate the no-contact order.

Newton found probable cause for Lewis’ arrest.

Modesitt said Lewis was charged with class-B felony rape in August 2011. The victim in that case was Elmi-Lewis, Modesitt said. The rape charge was dismissed in December 2011, however, when the woman declined to cooperate with the investigation and could not be located to testify at trial, Modesitt said. That case was dismissed “with prejudice,” meaning that the charge could be refiled at a later date.

Elmi-Lewis had no criminal record in Indiana. But investigators found an outstanding warrant for her arrest from California.

Elmi-Lewis’ remains were discovered Saturday in a rural area off Hyde Road/Clay County Road 700 West about a mile north of Indiana 42. An autopsy by Vigo County Coroner Roland Kohr ruled her death a homicide and determined that she died of blunt force trauma to the head.

The investigation into the homicide is continuing. Investigators urge anyone with any information about Elmi-Lewis’ death to come forward, specifically details about her last known whereabouts before her death.

Any person having information is asked to contact the Vigo County Sheriff’s Office at 812-462-3226. Anyone wanting to remain anonymous can call Wabash Valley Crime Stoppers at 812-238-STOP (7867). A reward of $1,000 is available to anyone who gives information leading to a conviction in the case.

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

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