A Greenfield man who police say beat his own uncle to death with a hammer has been formally charged with murder.
On February 16th, the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of a dead person at the residence 39-year-old Daniel James Smith shared with his mother and uncle. When investigators arrived at the home, they were directed by Smith’s mother to an unresponsive male in the living room. The man had severe facial trauma and was not breathing, but Smith’s mother was able to identify him as her half-brother, Freddie Patterson, 69. She then told officers her son, Daniel Smith, was also in the house.
Upon further questioning, the female resident stated she went to bed around 9 pm but was later awakened by banging. When she got up to find the source of the noise, her son brushed past her on his way to the bathroom, and she thought he had something in his hand like “Jell-O or blood with fruit in it.” She called out to her brother, but there was no answer. She then found him in a chair in the living room, mutilated. The woman also stated her brother and son “did not have a good relationship.”
Smith was arrested without incident. Once in custody, he made various statements to authorities concerning a cult, illegal products, and the Chinese Mafia. He then claimed his uncle was molesting a minor, which made Smith feel “angry and discussed.” Smith admitted to drinking a six pack of beer and moonshine shots in the hours before the murder but claimed he had been programmed by a brain implant to attack Patterson. Informed of the victim’s death, Smith first offered to donate a portion of his own brain to help him, but then told investigators “he was not really sure” if the man he allegedly killed was Patterson.
Smith has pled not guilty to an initial charge of murder. He is currently being held in the Hancock County jail without bond.
Police are asking for help finding an Elkhart County girl they believe is in extreme danger.
Aleeyah Cockburn, of Middlebury, went missing from her family home last Friday, February 10th. According to a statement from the girl’s mother, Aleeyah was last seen doing chores at approximately 7:30 that evening. Her instructions were to feed the family’s animals and close up the garage, then re-enter the house through the front.
No one knew that once she stepped outside, the 12-year-old would seem to just disappear.
“Apparently, she never came in the door when we noticed within minutes she wasn’t here,” said Virginia Cockburn. “We were up immediately looking all night. I think I finally went in at 3 AM in the morning and I was back out at 6 AM looking for her.”
She was reported as a runaway that same night. Someone later claimed to have spotted her in the area around State Road 120 and Indiana 13 a few hours after it’s believed she left home, around 10 o’clock.
And then… nothing.
Aleeyah Cockburn vanished.
Police believe the middle schooler is in danger and ask the for public’s help in bringing her home. Aleeyah is described as 4 feet 11 inches tall, 80 pounds. She has short black hair, green eyes, and wears glasses. When last seen, she had on a black beanie, a multicolor gray and pink jacket, blue jeans and black boots.
If you have any information regarding Aleeyah Cockburn, please contact the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department at 547-533-4151 or call 911.
Earlier today Indiana State Police investigators and the Noble County Prosecutor announced they have made arrests in the 1975 abduction and murder of Laurel Jean Mitchell.
The North Webster 17-year-old was reported missing by her parents on August 6, 1975, when she didn’t return home from work that night. Two fisherman found Laurel’s body floating in the north end of Diamond Lake the next day, about 17 miles from her home.
John Lehman (67), of Auburn, and Fred Bandy Jr. (67), of Goshen, were arrested at their respective homes Monday. Both men were charged with one count of murder and are currently held without bond in the Noble County Jail. They are due to appear in court for their initial hearings tomorrow.
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.
A Cumberland man was sentenced yesterday in connection with the death of his girlfriend’s daughter.
On the afternoon of April 6, 2020, Cumberland Police were called to a residence in the 11000 block of Kirkwood Drive after first responders reported a child in cardiac arrest. Brooklyn Mendheim, 8, was rushed to the hospital, where she later died. One of the nurses who treated her told police she had “extensive, fresh injuries” of the type usually seen in victims of physical and sexual abuse.
The child’s mother, Kimberly Grosklos, and Derrick Duane Dale, Grosklos’s boyfriend, initially tried to convince police the child had intentionally drowned herself in the bathtub. However, one of the other three kids – ages 11, 9 and 4- who were removed from the home broke down in tears and told authorities Brooklyn had been beaten with jumper cables shortly before her death.
An autopsy determined there was no water in the girl’s lungs. Her cause of death was ruled to be caused by nonaccidental trauma and suffocation.
Kimberly Grosklos, 34, received a 20-year sentence earlier this month after pleading guilty to neglect of a dependent resulting in death.
Last month, a jury found 31-year-old Dale, guilty of aggravated battery resulting in death, neglect of a dependent resulting in a death, and battery resulting in serious bodily injury to a person less than 14 years old. He was sentenced on Friday to 35 years.
Update: Mr. Wilson has regrettably been found deceased. Although no foul play is suspected, a death investigation is underway.
A Silver Alert has been issued for an 89-yr-old man from Seymour, and police are asking for the public’s help locating him.
Harold Wilson was last seen just after 6 AM Tuesday morning, driving a red 2003 Chevrolet Silverado with Indiana license plate D586UB. He is described as white, 6 feet 7 inches tall, approximately 220 pounds, with gray hair and blue eyes.
Authorities believe he is in extreme danger and may require medical assistance.
If you have information concerning Mr. Wilson’s whereabouts, please contact the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department (812-358-2141) or simply call 911.
A mushroom hunter stumbled across the dead body of a child yesterday, and the Indiana State Police is requesting the public’s help to identify him.
He is described as an African-American child between the ages of 5 and 8-years-old. The little boy has a thin build, a short haircut, and stood about four feet tall.
Found near a roadside in a wooded area just east of Washington County, police believe he died sometime within the last week. His cause of death is currently unknown. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.
If you have information concerning this child, please contact Detective Matt Busick of the Indiana State Police in Sellersburg (1-812-248-4374 or 1-800-872-6743).
Indianapolis Metro PD is asking for help locating a missing man.
36-year-old Nahum Smith was last seen February 18 near the Greyhound station at 350 S. Illinois Street. He is 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighs approximately 150 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. At the time of his disappearance, he was wearing a black and gray hoodie, white thermal shirt, tan pants, and socks under a pair of slippers.
Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of Mr. Smith is asked to call 911.
Shots were reportedly fired from outside into the children’s-birthday-themed restaurant around 5:30 p.m, shattering an exterior window and creating chaos as children screamed and parents attempted to rush them to safety. One witness, Jessie Humphries, said she tried to escape out a back door only to find it locked.
“After that, nobody knew where to run, didn’t know who in the building was shooting,” said another woman who was there celebrating the birthday of her twin granddaughters.
Thankfully, only one casualty occurred. A man tentatively identified as Anthony Tinnin was found dead in the parking lot. Police believe he had been inside the Chuck E. Cheese then walked outside shortly before the shooting started. It’s unknown at this time if he was intentionally targeted.
Many of the children present were further tramatized when they saw the victim’s body as they exited the scene.
The perpetrators fled in a white SUV and remain at-large.
Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact IMPD Detective Lottie Patrick at 317-327-3475 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also anonymously leave information with the Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana by calling 317-262-TIPS (8477).
Last Wednesday, February 9th, 60-year-old Dwayne Anthony Freeman faced his initial court appearance in connection with the rape and murder of a fellow nursing home resident.
An employee of Homestead Healthcare Center entered the room of 80-yr-old Patricia Newnum in the early morning hours of February 2nd to distribute medication. It was then that another resident, Freeman, was discovered on top of Newnum. He appeared to be having sex with the hospice patient while holding a pillow over her face. When confronted, Freeman reportedly smelled of alcohol and “rambled incoherently.” He reacted violently when an empty bottle was found in his room.
Newnum was subsequently declared dead in her bed, and an autopsy later ruled her death a homicide. She had died from asphyxiation due to smothering.
According to prosecutors, Freeman’s story changed several times before he finally admitted to having intercourse with the victim but claimed it was consensual and initiated by Newnum. However, employees of the facility told police that before her death, Newnum was unable to move on her own and her ability to speak was limited. Freeman also had a history of speaking inappropriately to women during the three months he’d lived at the facility. Incredibly, he’d even told staff the night before the assault that he was “going to get me a woman tonight.”
An automatic not-guily plea was entered on Freeman’s behalf Wednesday, and a public defender was assigned to him. It’s unknown at this time if the facility will face negligence charges in connection with Newnum’s death. Local news station WTHR reports that the facility, located at 7465 Madison Avenue, faced more than $100,ooo in federal fines last year. Federal site Medicare.gov states it has received 26 complaints that resulted in citations against Homestead Healthcare Center within the last three years.
Dwayne Freeman is scheduled to appear in court again March 30th.