News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 23, 2013

Police: 1 of 2 deaths was homicide

Coroner: ‘possibly’ a murder-suicide

Tribune-Star staff report
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Autopsy results show that a woman whose body was found in northwestern Vigo County Saturday night died from strangulation, and the death is considered a homicide, according to the Indiana State Police.

Vigo County Coroner Dr. Susan Amos released some preliminary findings on Tuesday after autopsies were performed on the woman and on a man whose body also was found at the scene.

The cause of death for the man is pending with the manner of death also pending, according to a state police news release. There were no physical injuries consistent with causing his death, ISP said.

At this time, ISP investigators have no evidence to suggest that anyone other than the deceased man caused the death of the woman, and investigators do not believe anyone else was involved in the deaths. However, the investigation is ongoing, according to state police.

“The theory we are working on is that it appears it could be a murder-suicide,” said Sgt. Joe Watts of the Indiana State Police.   

When asked if the deaths appear to be a murder-suicide, Amos responded, “possibly.”

The deaths don’t appear to be the result of a double homicide, she said.

The two bodies were found on private property near U.S. 150 and Pennington Road at about 10 p.m. Saturday by people riding all-terrain vehicles in the area, police said.

Toxicology results, expected to take two to four weeks, are pending on both the man and the woman.

Investigators believe the man and woman were in a relationship before their deaths.

Positive identification of the victims has not been made. The coroner’s office and ISP investigators are continuing efforts to positively identify the deceased. Fingerprint identification will be attempted first and could have positive results in a couple of days. If no match is found, DNA testing will be used and could take up to a month, ISP said.