Investigation into Grain Elevator Explosion Continues

An explosion destroyed the upper half of this grain elevator.
An explosion destroyed the upper half of this grain elevator.
The investigation into a grain elevator explosion at the Union Mills Co-Alliance in LaPorte County remains under investigation.

Major John Boyd from the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department, whose department is assisting the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the state fire marshal’s office in this investigation, said investigators are waiting for engineers to assess the elevator to see if it’s structurally sound. If it is deemed structurally sound, investigators can get into the elevator to look for evidence in what caused the explosion.

There have been speculations that grain dust could be to blame.

The explosion Monday afternoon killed 67-year-old James Swank who was a resident of Union Mills and worked at the Union Mills Co-Alliance for seven years.

Three Car Accident Closes U.S. 30


U.S. 30 was closed this morning after a bad accident at the intersection with State Road 39.

The LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that three cars were involved in the crash that injured three people. According to Capt. John Boyd, two cars were stopped at a stop light headed westbound on U.S. 30 at the intersection with State Road 39. A third driver, driving highway speed, apparently didn’t see the two cars stopped there and rear-ended the second car in line which hit the first car in line.

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Peace Officer Memorial Planned for Today in LaPorte County

The 14th Annual Peace Officers Memorial Service hosted by the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department is today at 11 a.m. CT.

This year’s keynote speaker is the superintendent of the Indiana State Police, Doug Carter. Carter was raised in LaPorte and graduated from LaPorte High School in 1980. He served 18 years with the Indiana State Police prior to being elected Sheriff of Hamilton County where he served two terms.

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LaPorte Teenager Arrested on Dealing Heroin Charge

An 18-year-old LaPorte man was arrested Thursday after an investigation by the LaPorte County Metro Operations Unit and officers from the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department.

Officers checked a vehicle that was parked in the Stone Lake Beach parking lot and an on-scene investigation resulted in the arrest of Christopher Miller of LaPorte. He was arrested on a preliminary charge of Dealing in a Schedule II Controlled Substance, heroin, as a Class A Felony. He was booked into the LaPorte County Jail and will appear in LaPorte County Circuit Court on Friday in an initial hearing.

Miller is being held on a $100,000 bond.

LaPorte County Teenagers Arrested after Burglary, Pursuit Incident

LaPorte County Sheriff's Department
LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office

LaPorte County officers arrested three Gary teenagers after a burglary and pursuit incident in LaPorte.

Shortly before 10:00 a.m. Thursday morning, officers from the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office were notified of a residential burglary in progress in the 1200 north block of Goldring Road. The vehicle was then observed fleeing the area. Officers from the Michigan City Police Department saw the vehicle driving erratically along County Road 400 north near U.S. 421. The vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed and a pursuit began. The driver refused to stop and went onto Highway 94 and continued traveling at high speed.

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Two LaCrosse Men Arrested after Armed Robbery


Two men were apprehended at the Starke/LaPorte line yesterday afternoon after an alleged armed robbery at Will’s Service in LaCrosse.

The suspects had fled the scene shortly after the incident. Descriptions of the suspects and their vehicle were given to LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department deputies and surrounding police agencies. A short time later, a vehicle matching the suspect’s description was located traveling near the intersection of State Road 39 and State Road 8 and officers from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department and the Knox City Police Department were able to stop the vehicle and assist the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department in arresting the pair.

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LaPorte Police Seek Convicted Sex Offender

Darell Eckwood
Darell Eckwood

LaPorte County police are asking for your help in locating a person who has committed a sex offender registry violation which is a Class D Felony.

Darell L. Eckwood last registered on March 28, 2013 per the requirement of the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry statutes, but during the course of the April 2013 “Operation Lost Innocence” investigation, officials learned that he was no longer at that residence. Continue reading

LaPorte County to Increase Patrols during Prom Season


Prom season is gearing up so the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department and the LaPorte County DUI Task Force will increase enforcement and patrols around prom and post-prom sites this spring.

Proms for Marquette, New Prairie, South Central and Westville schools in LaPorte County begin the weekend of April 27 and continue through May 18 and it’s the goal of law enforcement to deter alcohol use and eliminate alcohol related crashes among prom attendees.

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Fatality Accident Investigated in LaPorte County


Investigators from the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department were called to the scene of a fatality accident Thursday afternoon.

The two-vehicle crash involved a passenger car and a garbage truck. Preliminary investigation at the scene found that the driver of the passenger car had apparently failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection of 300 North and Johnson Road. The car entered the intersection and collided with a garbage truck.

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Cold Case Being Revisited in LaPorte County

Juanita Boyd
Juanita Boyd
The LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department is revisiting a cold case and is seeking your help.

The 1981 unsolved homicide of Juanita Boyd is being re-examined. She was last seen at Snyder’s Corner Tavern, which at the time was at 1st and J streets in LaPorte. She was reported missing on Feb. 23, 1981 and discovered five days later in the trunk of her 1970 Pontiac Catalina in a field just off Forrester Road, approximately one-half mile north of the Indiana Toll Road. She was dead, having been strangled and stabbed.

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LaPorte Deputies Arrest Two in Connection With Residential Burglary

The LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department arrested two people in connection with a residential burglary that took place earlier this week. On Tuesday, Feb. 5, police were called to a possible burglary in progress at a home that had been already been burglarized less than two weeks prior.

Around 12:03 p.m., dispatch received a call reporting the burglary at a home in the 1200 North block of Goldring Road. The homeowner called 911 after returning home and discovering items stacked outside the home. Sheriff’s deputies arrived a short while later and confirmed that a burglary had taken place, and a neighbor told police that they had seen two men run north from the victim’s home and disappear into a wooded area.

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Retired Police Officer Finds Burglars in Home, Opens Fire

Two men seriously wounded when shot by a retired police officer inside his LaPorte County home have been charged with Burglary, a Class B Felony.

Edward Flynn, 67, and his girlfriend returned to his home Friday night in Pottawattomie Park and reportedly discovered broken glass in the dining room. Flynn, a retired Chicago police officer, told police he pulled out his revolver and encountered Marshaun Wright, 24, and Ladell Hemsworth, 23. He then reportedly pointed the gun at the men who began coming toward him.

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Search of LaPorte Residence Leads to Two Arrests

LaPorte authorities arrested two after a search warrant was conducted at a home on Ohio Street in LaPorte on Thursday.

Case workers from the Indiana Department of Child Services and investigators from the LaPorte County Metro Operations Unit were called to investigate the welfare of a three-year-old child and officers found that illegal activity may be occurring at the residence.

Eric Slayton, 32, and 20-year-old Aldo Zappitelli were arrested and taken to the LaPorte County Jail on preliminary charges of Dealing a Schedule I Controlled Substance (heroin), a Class B Felony, and Possession of Marijuana, a Class A Misdemeanor. Zappitelli was also booked on a warrant for Burglary in the state of Michigan and is being held without bond. He could be extradited from LaPorte County as a result of the warrant. Slayton’s bond was set at $3,505 cash.

Former LaPorte County Man Arrested as Suspect in String of Burglaries

Jason Hurt

A former LaPorte County man has been arrested as a suspect in several burglary incidents that occurred in January in 2012.

Jason Hurt, 33, has been wanted for an outstanding warrant for violating his probation, and on Dec. 28, officers with the LaPorte County Detective Bureau and the LaPorte County Metro Operations Unit learned that Hurt was at a home in rural LaPorte.

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LaPorte Man Arrested after Robbery Incident

A bank robbery suspect was arrested quickly after a robbery incident occurred at a Fifth Third Bank branch in LaPorte Thursday morning.

Detectives from the LaPorte City Police Department and officers from the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department were given a description of the suspect and through a collaborative effort with bank employees, the suspect, 32-year-old Ryan S. Mounts, of LaPorte, was quickly apprehended.

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Sexually Violent Predator being Sought by LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department

Maurice Ward

LaPorte County deputies are attempting to locate a sexually violent predator.

28-year-old Maurice Ward is wanted for failing to register as a sex offender, a Class C Felony. He is also wanted by the Indiana Department of Corrections Parole Board for a parole violation.

Ward was convicted of Criminal Confinement as a Class B Felony and it was then he was identified by Indiana Code as a Sexually Violent Predator. He was also convicted in 2010 for failing to register as a sex offender.

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LaPorte County Jail Inmate Miscarries

LaPorte County Sheriff's Department
La Porte County Sheriff's Office

An inmate at the LaPorte County Jail miscarried after an incident with police.

A woman who had been incarcerated in the jail on a probation violation since November 14, was reportedly involved in a physical altercation with another inmate. A jailer intervened and was taken to the floor by one of the inmates before other deputies responded to the incident.

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