Purdue Student Murdered in Dorm

Varun Manish Chhed was allegedly killed by his roommate, Gji Min Sha.

Varun Manish Chheda, a senior at Purdue University, was killed in his dorm just after midnight yesterday morning. His roommate has been accused of his murder.

Gji Min “Jimmy” Sha, 22, called police at 12:44 a.m. Wednesday morning to report Chheda’s death. Minutes later, members of the Purdue University Police Department arrived at the first-floor dorm room the students shared in McCutcheon Hall, where they found Chheda’s bloody body. A subsequent autopsy by Tippecanoe County Coroner Carrie Costello determined the 20-year-old died of “multiple sharp-force traumatic injuries.”

Sha, an international student from Korea, was taken into custody on a preliminary charge of murder. No motive for the homicide has been released.

Chheda was just ten days away from his 21st birthday when he died.

Man Who Vandalized Washington Monument is from Indiana

Why is it whenever the phrase “Indiana man” appears in the news, it’s never about anything good?

44-year-old Indiana man Shaun Ray Deaton, of Bloomington, was arrested Tuesday evening after allegedly vandalizing the Washington Monument. According to details in the affidavit filed by the United States Park Police, Deaton is accused of defacing our nation’s most phallic public memorial by using red paint to scrawl “Have you been f**ked by this” (with an arrow pointing up) and “Gov says tough shit” on its marble base. Perhaps not coincidentally, he reportedly had a paint brush in his possession and red paint on his clothes when apprehended at the scene.

After pleading not guilty to initial charges of trespassing, tampering and vandalism, the suspect was released and ordered to return for an October 11th hearing.

Although no official motive has been given, Deaton’s brother said he was recently laid off and denied disability.

Tennessee’s “Baby Girl” Doe Identified Nearly 40 Years Later as Missing Indiana Teen

Tracy Sue Walker

Forty-four years after Tracy Sue Walker disappeared, her family is one step closer to learning the reason why.

One day in 1978, the pretty 15-year-old went to the Tippecanoe Mall, where she was seen talking to a friend. She never came home again.

Although details are scare due to the events occuring pre-digitization, investigators say Tracy’s mother reported her as a runaway to local police – twice. Then the trail ran cold.

Nearly four hundred miles and seven years later, skeletal remains were found in the Big Wheel Gap area of Elk Valley, an unincorporated area north of Knoxville, Tennessee. An autopsy determined the body found April 3, 1985 belonged to a white female, probably between the ages of 10 and 15. When the subsequent investigation could not uncover anything else about the deceased girl, authorities affectionately nicknamed her “Baby Girl.”

Special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation never forgot “Baby Girl.” Over the years they continued to work the few leads at their disposal, submitting her DNA profile to various databases such as the Combined DNA Index System and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. It wasn’t until earlier this year, however, that they received a break in the case.

In June, a private lab specializing in forensic genealogy testing was able to locate a possible genetic link between and current citizens of Indiana. A TBI agent contacted the Lafayette-area residents, who confirmed they had a sister who went missing in 1978. DNA samples submitted to CODIS verified the match: “Baby Girl” Doe was Tracy Sue Walker.

Police now hope to find out what led to the pretty high school sophomore’s death and how she ended up so far from home. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations and the Tippecanoe County Sheriff would like to speak with anyone who has information about Tracy’s last known whereabouts or individuals she was in contact with prior to her disappearance.

A statement has not been released concerning whether or not police suspect foul play.


If you have information about Tracy Sue Walker, please call the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (1-800-TBI-FIND) or the Tippecanoe Sheriff’s office (765-423-9321).

Suspect Arrested in Shooting of Dutch Soldiers

The crime scene outside the downtown Hampton Inn.

An Indianapolis man has been arrested for the shooting of three Dutch soldiers.

According to a news release from the Indianapolis Metro Police Department, Shamar Duncan, 22, is the man suspected of killing one Royal Netherlands Army soldier and wounding two others last weekend.

At approximately three-thirty Saturday morning, officers were called to the scene of a shooting outside the downtown Hampton Inn, two blocks south of Monument Circle. The gunshot victims were rushed to a local hospital where one of them, Simmie Poetsema, 26, later died. The other two soldiers were treated for non-life threatening wounds. Although the shooting occurred at the hotel where the victims were staying, detectives believe the men were deliberately targeted because of an earlier altercation at a separate location.

Members of the Royal Netherlands Army’s Commando Corps were in town for a combat exercise at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, a 1,000-acre military complex outside of Indianapolis. The Indiana National Guard reportedly stated the facility is used for training by the Department of Defense “as well as other allies.”

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact IMPD Homicide Detective Michael Wright at 317-327-3475 or email Michael.Wright@indy.gov .

Police Searching for Woman Missing Since April

Missing: Elizabeth Gearhart

South Bend Police are asking for help finding a woman who was reported missing more than two months after she seemingly vanished.

Details are scarce, but 39-year-old Elizabeth Gearhart hasn’t been heard from since April 25th. However, her disappearance was only recently reported to authorities.

Elizabeth is 4’10”, 116 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She has a butterfly tattoo on her lower back.


If you have information about this case, please contact Detective Bruno Martinsky at 574-235-9204 or 574-235-9201.

Man Impersonates Police Officer to Gain Control Over Teen

The booking photo of Jim Zink

A southern Indiana man is in jail after authorities say he impersonated a police officer over the weekend.

Jim Zink, 63, is accused of identifying himself as a policeman at a Jasper McDonald’s and demanding a juvenile employee be released into his custody. The restaurant’s security footage shows Zink flashing a badge before the teen eventually left with him.

Dubois County Sheriff Tom Kleinhelter confirmed the suspect had worked as a county jail employee from October 2017 until September 2018. Details of how he knew the juvenile have not been released.

Zink is charged with impersonation of a public servant, a Level 6 felony.

Woman Runs Over Boyfriend Three Times, Gets Arrested for Murder

Andre Smith was a victim of domestic violence.

An Indianapolis woman has been charged with murder after killing her boyfriend because she found him with another woman.

A little after midnight Friday, IMPD officers responded to a call concerning a dispute in the parking lot of Tilly’s Pub in the 3900 block of East 82nd Street. When they arrived, they found Andre Smith, 26, pinned beneath a car. He later died at the scene.

According to court documents, Gaylyn J. Morris, 26, used an Apple AirTag to follow Smith because she suspected him of cheating. She tracked him to the pub, where she found him in the company of another woman. Morris then grabbed an empty wine bottle and swung it at the unidentified woman, but Smith stepped between them and grabbed the bottle.

The three of them were then asked to leave.

While Smith’s companion stayed inside to wait for a food order, Smith and Morris stepped outside. The probable cause affidavit states Morris got into her Impala and “pulled forward and clipped the victim (Smith), and he went down, at which time… (Morris) then backed over him and then pulled forward and hit him for the third time.” With Smith still trapped under the vehicle, she got out of her car and again attempted to attack the other woman before being detained by police.

Morris is currently being held on a preliminary charge without bond. IMPD is asking anyone who witnessed the crime to call homicide detectives at 317-327-3475.

Silver Alert: Missing 14-Yr-Old Boy

Have you seen Jalen?

A 14-yr-old is missing from his northern Indiana home.

Authorities are asking for help finding Jalen Winfield of Osceola. He was last seen around 9:30 p.m last night. The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department believes he is in extreme danger and may require medical assistance.

Jalen is described as a black male with black hair and brown eyes. He stands approximately 5 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs 116 pounds. He was last seen wearing a dark blue T-shirt with a glow-in-the-dark skull and camouflage pants with black shoes.


If you have information concerning Jalen, please call 911 or the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office (574-533-4151).

UPDATE: Silver Alert Issued for Kokomo Woman

Betty Stroup, 80

Authorities in Howard County are asking for help in finding an 80-year-old Kokomo woman believed to be in extreme danger.

Betty Stroup was last seen at her home in the 2300 block of North 100 East Street around 4 am yesterday morning. Stroup has dementia and may require medical assistance. She is described as a white female, approximately 5-feet-2-inches tall, 118 pounds, with green eyes and white hair. The elderly woman is believed to be wearing burgundy pajamas with hearts on them and may possibly be accompanied by a black Shih Tzu.

UPDATE: Sadly, Betty Stroup and her dog Cookie were found Sunday night, May 30th, in a ditch less than a mile from her home. Although toxicology tests are still pending, an autopsy has indicated she drowned. No foul play is suspected.

Details Released in Goshen Mass Shooting

Prosecutor Vicki Becker speaks to the press with Sean Pounds, stepfather of the victims, by her side.

Elkhart County prosecutor Vicki Becker held a press conference Monday to discuss the Goshen mass shooting that killed two and injured three over the weekend.

Although authorities were somewhat cagey concerning details of the May 21st crime, the perpetrator was identified as David Valera Morales, 20. He died at a Goshen Hospital following the shooting, but it’s currently unknown if his wounds were self-inflicted.

All four victims of the attack on Rosedale Court were members of the Arellano-Rios family. Richard Rios (age unknown) died at the scene. The remaining three victims are Rios’s siblings. Police have withheld names because of their ages, but two girls were airlifted to a trauma hospital in Fort Wayne and another was taken to a trauma hospital in South Bend. Their stepfather, Sean Pounds, said they are doing “as well as can be at this point in time.”

No motive has been released for the shooting. At the news conference, Elkhart County Prosecutor Vicki Becker stated, “There will not be details at this point in time regarding the roles of any individuals involved in what occurred.”

The investigation is ongoing.


If you have information about this case, please contact the Elkhart County Homicide Unit at(574)-295-2825. Tips can also be emailed to media@elkhartcountyprosecutor.com.