News From Terre Haute, Indiana

June 18, 2014

Dive team joins search for clues linked to body recovered from the Wabash River last week

Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A search for evidence in a June 3 homicide took investigators to the banks of the Wabash River again on Wednesday.

Vigo County Sheriff’s deputies and an Indiana Conservation Office dive team searched the waters and banks around old abutments of the former U.S. 40 bridge along the east bank of the river.

They were searching for clues connected to the death of Michael R. Pollack, 50, whose body was found in the Wabash River on June 8.

VCSD Chief Deputy Clark Cottom declined to say what prompted the search or what the divers were seeking. But he did say that visibility was low and that divers were searching by touch in an area about 10 feet deep.

Pollack’s body was identified through fingerprints on record through Illinois police. Detectives are not releasing how Pollack was killed or what type of weapon might have been used; however, Cottom has said that his death was violent.

Originally from the Chicago area, Pollack’s last known residence in Terre Haute was Timothy’s House, a shelter for men on Gilbert Avenue. However, he had not lived there for a few weeks, Cottom said.

In an effort to find anyone who might have seen Pollock on June 3, police have posted 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 that Pollack, who walked with a limp because of a past broken leg, was known to frequent as he walked around town.

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 June 3 after a brief stay because of an illness. He was seen around 4:45 p.m. that day 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 also 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 just before his death, but he was known to frequent soup kitchens and shelters in the past.

Pollack had been living 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.

Pollack’s body was found by boaters about 8 p.m. June 8 in the Wabash River, south of the Interstate 70 bridges, 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 on June 9.

Anyone with information about Pollack or his acquaintances is asked to contact VCSD Capt. John Moats at 812-462-3317, extension 7310.

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