1972 Cold Case Murder of 1-Year-Old Child Reopened; Arrest Made

The murder of a 1-year-old baby in St. Clair County more than 40 years ago is once again open and under investigation. Gary Allyn Warwick of Portage is charged with the murder of Joseph Henry Abernathy III on Dec. 30, 1972 – charges that he’s faced before, but were dropped in 1973 without any explanation, causing the case to go cold.

Warwick is now reportedly an assistant coach at Purdue University North Central with 25 years of experience, having helped start the Indiana Raiders softball program, for which he is now a full-time coach. In addition, Warwick’s biography on the PNC website states that he is married, has two married daughters and three grandchildren.

Warwick was charged with murder in this case in 1973, but the charges were dismissed until recently, when the family of the victim started a petition on Change.org and created a YouTube video called “Justice for Joey,” which convinced the sheriff of St. Clair County to re-open the investigation and prompted the arrest of Warwick last week at a Portage restaurant.

Warwick now sits in St. Clair County Jail on a $5 million bond while the case continues to be investigated. Warwick faces up to 300 years in jail if convicted under 1973 sentencing guidelines.