The rural Knox man accused of beating his wife to death, kidnapping a man from a business parking lot, stealing a Jeep at gunpoint in English Lake and leading authorities on a high-speed chase through three counties before shooting himself is back in Starke County. Detective Rob Olejniczak from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department and Jailer Joshua Kazee picked Gary Chavez up from the Cook County, Ill. jail today.
He’s jailed without bond on charges of murder, kidnapping and carjacking stemming from the June 6th incident. Sheriff’s deputies found the body of his wife, Kimberly Chavez, under a tarp in the yard of the couple’s rural Knox home. A forensic autopsy found she died of blunt force trauma.
Investigators believe Chavez left his house, drove to Mark Bailey’s Discount Center on State Road 10, brandished a gun at a store employee and demanded his vehicle. While driving to English Lake, Chavez reportedly confessed to killing his wife. When he got there, he dumped his passenger and stole a second vehicle. It broke down near Kouts. Authorities in Porter County say Chavez pulled a gun on two men who stopped to help him and stole their truck. That’s what he was driving when police in Lake County used stop sticks in an attempt to end the pursuit on Interstate 65 in Crown Point. Chavez shot himself as an officer was approaching and has been hospitalized in Chicago until recently. He will appear in Starke Circuit Court for an initial hearing next week. Chavez also faces a charge in Porter County.