Vigil held for victims in Indiana murders; Some remain unidentified

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Residents in Gary gathered Wednesday night to honor the victims of murders in Indiana.

The Lake County coroner is still working to positively identify the bodies of  three of the women found in abandoned Gary homes over the weekend.
So far, four women have been identified;
19-year-old Afrikka Hardy; 35-year-old Anith Jones; 28-year-old Teaira Batey and 36-year-old Christine Williams.
“Jane Doe #5” is still unidentified.  The victim was found Oct 19 in the 400 block of 43rd Ave in Gary was was wearing a silver linked bracelet with “Best Aunt” on the top of the bracelet. Also a silver ring with a heart shape on the top of the ring, and a silver ring with scalloped engravings. The individual is approximately 5’ 3”.
Also found in that same abandoned home was a second woman’s body, now known as “Jane Doe #6,” who was so badly decomposed, she can only be described an African American—no approximate height can be determined.
The coroner says her office has leads on the third unidentified woman after concerned family members came forward. For now she is referred to as “Jane Doe #3,” who was wearing a pair of Rue 21 jeans and Nike shoes. The coroner’s office is now working with individuals who believe they’re related to Jane Doe #3 to do a DNA analysis.
The coroner say many of these bodies were so badly decomposed it makes identification that much harder.
“Our hope is 100% that we’ll have identification,” said Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey.  “We feel confident. The public is working very well with us and we hope to continue to have that relationship. The phone calls are coming in.”
So far the cause of deaths for two of the victims have been ruled as strangulation.  Experts are being brought in from Indianapolis to help determine the cause and time frame of death for the other five victims.
So far the office has heard from 17 families who believe their loved ones may be one of these two unidentified Jane Does the coroner’s office needs help with.
Those who believe there’s a link are encourage to contact the office at (219) 755-3267 .

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