Keep Children Safe This Halloween, Check Sex Offender Registry

 Help keep your children safe this Halloween by using online tools to learn the location and identity of registered sex offenders in an area where you plan to take your children trick-or-treating.

Go to to search for registered sex offenders in a two-mile radius of a location entered into the database. A list of offenders, including their pictures, offenses and physical descriptions, is available. You may search any county to learn of any registered sex offenders in proximity to your home.

An online sex offender registry is available for residents of LaPorte County. There are currently 190 registered sex offenders in LaPorte County. 50 of those registered are sexually violent predators and 59 are classified as offenders against children. Visit to search through the database. 14,300 people have visited the site to date and all at the sheriff’s office encourages you to help ensure the safety of children this Halloween.

The LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department and all sheriffs in the state utilize “OffenderWatch” Sex Offender Management System to manage and monitor registered sex offenders.

Three-Car Accident Injures Two Near LaCrosse


A three-car accident injured two on U.S. Highway 421, north of County Road 2300 South near LaCrosse Friday afternoon.

LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department deputies were called to the scene shortly before 2 p.m. CT and found that a vehicle traveling south on U.S. 421 crossed the center line of the roadway for unknown reasons and hit the axles of a trailer being pulled by a northbound semi. After the vehicle struck the axles, the vehicle hit another car that was traveling north on U.S. 421.

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Boyfriend of Deceased 3-Year-Old’s Mother in Custody for Reckless Homicide

Zachariah Grisham
Zachariah Grisham
A 24-year-old man is in custody following the death of a 3-year-old child who was shot and killed at a residence on Farmington Drive in Terrace Acres Mobile Home Park in Michigan City. At approximately 3:36 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 15, officers from the Michigan City Police Department were summoned to the home in reference to a child who had been shot, and upon arrival, officers determined that the child was deceased as the result of the gunshot wound. The child was identified as Lance Wilson.

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Train Strikes Car Stuck on Tracks; One Fatality in Union Mills


A train/car crash in the Union Mills area that took the life of a LaPorte man is under investigation by the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department. At around 1:59 a.m. CT, deputies from the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office were summoned to the Canadian National Railroad crossing located on State Road 39 south of U.S. 6 in reference to the reported crash. Upon arrival, deputies located a Dodge Caravan that had been struck by a westbound train. The driver, the only occupant of the vehicle, was found deceased in the van, identified as Brian D. Massengill, 40 of LaPorte. He reportedly died of massive blunt force trauma, and officials have stated his blood alcohol content was determined to be 0.393 percent, which could have played a part in the accident.

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Two Arrested in Shooting Incident in LaPorte County


A father and son were arrested today after a shooting incident in a parking area of Purdue University North Central.

LaPorte County deputies determined that a disagreement over a narcotics transaction at a residence in the 9500 West block of County Road 125 South led to the shooting incident.

Multiple gunshots were fired at a vehicle parked the residence that was occupied by four juveniles. A 17-year-old juvenile riding in the back seat suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound in his hip as a round penetrated the vehicle. The three other occupants fled to Purdue North Central. The victim was transported to a hospital in Michigan City for treatment.

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Police Agencies Continue to Collected Unused, Expired Medications

Several police agencies in the area have been collecting expired or unused medications at their facilities. The LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department is one of those agencies and just recently the sheriff’s department along with the Michigan City Police Department and the LaPorte County TRIAD incinerated 105.5 pounds of medicines that had been collected.

The unused medications had been collected since April 27 and they were incinerated in a licensed facility.

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Look Out for an Impersonator in Your Neighborhood

A man believed to be impersonating an employee with the LaPorte County Animal Shelter is being sought by police.

The man, described as 5’9” and about 180 pounds with dark hair and a mustache, stopped at a home in the 800 East block of County Road 700 North. The homeowner told police that a white van pulled into her driveway and the man stated that he was from the LaPorte County Animal Shelter. He explained that he needed to speak to her about her animals. The man discussed the size of the enclosure for her livestock and warned her that she had 48 hours to make improvements or risk having the animals removed.

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LaPorte Man Acted in Self Defense When He Shot Burglar


No charges will be filed against a LaPorte man who shot and killed a burglar in his home on the morning of July 8.

Investigators from the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office completed their investigation and submitted their reports to LaPorte County Prosecutor Robert Szilagyi who concluded that Stephen Penny acted in self defense when Jason Rabe broke into his home in the 6700 East block of County Road 1000 North.

Penny had awoken at the sound of breaking glass inside his home. He armed himself with a gun and found Rabe armed with a hatchet. The pair struggled and Penny shot Rabe once in the chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene from a single gunshot wound.

LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department investigators and the prosecuting attorney have closed this investigation.

LaPorte Homeowner Shoots and Kills Intruder


A rural LaPorte homeowner who fatally shot a burglar at his home near the Michigan state line Monday morning is not expected to face charges in the incident. Investigators from the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department spent Monday interviewing the man, who was awakened by the sound of breaking glass, grabbed his pistol and found Jason Rabe, 23, of Three Oaks Twp, Mich. inside his home armed with a hatchet. Rabe died of a single gunshot wound that essentially ruptured his heart, according to LaPorte County Coroner John Sullivan. He tells our reporting partner WNDU-TV the wound so severe, Memorial MedFlight and the best heart surgeon couldn’t have saved him. The homeowner suffered a few cuts and bruises but refused medical treatment. He did not know Rabe, whose prior criminal record includes possession of marijuana and retail fraud charges from 2010.




Police believe that the suspect lives in Three Oaks Township, Michigan and the suspect was not known by the homeowner.

Investigators continue to investigate this incident.

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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