Gary man formally charged in case of Indiana murders

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Lake County, Ind authorities have formally charged a Gary man suspected of murder.

43-year-old Darren Vann was identified as a suspect in at least seven murders and authorities say there could be more.

The case against him began to unfold at a Motel 6 off I-80 in Hammond where the body of 19-year-old Afrikka Hardy who police say was a prostitute was found Friday night. She was strangled to death.

Police say Vann met Hardy through the website Chicagobackpage.com.

When she failed to check in after their arranged meeting her female pimp who police call a “facilitator” became concerned and sent her a text.

Hammond police Chief John Doughty says Vann sent back texts using Hardy’s cell phone.

“The Facilitator attempted to call Ms. Hardy and was provided suspicious text responses she believed to becoming from the suspect when he was still inside the hotel,” Chief Doughty said.

Evidence at the scene led Hammond police to the suspect in Gary. He was taken into custody for Hardy’s murder then began to confess to other killings.

Over the weekend the bodies of six additional victims were found in Gary.

35-year-old Merriville resident Anith Jones was found in the 400 block E. 43rd Ave.

28-year-old Gary resident Teairra Batey was found at 1800 block of E. 19th Ave.

And unidentified African-American female was found the 2200 block of Massachusetts.

36-year-old resident Christine Williams was found in the 4300 block of Connecticut.

And when investigators returned to the 400 block of East 43rd Ave, two more unidentified African-American females were found that investigators missed the first time they visited that location.

Investigator still don't know don't know a detailed time frame on when the murders occurred. They also do not know if the victims found in abandoned homes were murdered there or dumped there.

Hammond police say they had no contact with the suspect before.

“It is possible the investigation will lead to more victims so we have to be careful what we say at this point,” the chief said.

Vann’s first court appearance could be Tuesday.

 

 

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10 comments

  • Austin McCully

    How does the system let sex offenders wonder around the country unchecked?
    Why couldn’t the law place chips in them like a lost a rogue animal that some of them are.

  • Maggie Lin

    Condolences to the family of the victims.

    Killers, thugs, thieves are not confined to any race, but all need to be gotten rid of appropriately. It’s not race, it’s mentality.

    Shame on anyone who is making this about race. White people have their fair share of killers too (especially SERIAL KILLERS)

    I thought Obama was supposed to bring our country together? I’ve never seen a country more divided. We all hate each other now.

    Under Obama, 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and have no hopes for raises anytime in this Obama administration. They also just had their health insurance cancelled and are forced to sign up for a more expensive policy with higher deductibles and co-pays. They are also living in a country where racial relations are as tense as ever (see Ferguson, MO).

    The middle class is shrinking in Obama-America because Obama is taxing them to oblivion and not giving them any hand-me-outs. To be middle class in today’s America is to be poor.

    I make $60k a year and with my rent, gas, health insurance ($350/month), car insurance ($25/month from Insurance Panda, thank god), misc loans ($300/month), utilities, food/drink, etc., I can barely get by. The massive amounts of tax that NYS/NYC and the feds take out of my paycheck doesn’t help either!

    Add to that the anti-business, anti-energy, race-baiting, class -warfare policies with pro job-robbing and resource-hogging illegals and you have a democrat utopia. It is a recipe for disaster.

    It’s no wonder Ferguson is erupting. This place is a mess! Let’s stop making everything about RACE!

  • kersey

    I think the producers of the show “CRIMINAL MINDS” should rush over to the Hammond and Gary area I mean every freaking week and episode they portray a White person of being a “SERIAL KILLER” now its a Black WOW the first at least on the CBS minds,another way of brainwashing the public on look out for that White guy.

  • Shelly Stow

    Why do people persist in identifying him first and foremost as a sex offender? If all the stories are true, if his confessions are real, then he is a murderer. A MURDERER. He may have sexually molested the victims before killing them, but that has thus far not been mentioned in any of the news stories. Even with the sexual offense he went to prison for, his first interaction with that victim was to hit her and knock her down and tell her he could kill her if he wanted. Only then did he rape her. The man is a killer. Call him that.