The Gary man police there say confessed to killing seven women, including a Knox native, has pleaded not guilty in connection with two of the homicides. Darren Vann, 43, has been formally charged in the deaths of Afrika Hardy, whose body was found in a Hammond motel room on Oct. 17th, and Anith Jones, who was one of six women discovered in abandoned homes in Gary.
Charges have not been filed against Vann in the other five deaths, as they are still under investigation. Vann’s next court appearance in connection with Hardy and Jones’ deaths is Jan. 9.
Kristine Williams, 36, of Gary, is among the women Vann is accused of killing. She grew up in Knox and would have graduated in 1997 from Knox High School. A memorial service is planned for her Saturday at M.C. Smith Funeral Home.
The Lake County Coroner’s Office is working with outside investigators to determine how and when the other women died. They have ruled Williams death a homicide caused by strangulation, according to the “Times of Northwest Indiana.” The time frame of her death is still unclear.