February 05, 2004
Muncie Police Department investigator Jeff Liest confers with Delaware County sheriffs deputy Bill Polk while Delaware County intern Ryan Stacy takes notes on measurements taken at the scene Thursday where a badly decomposed body was found. At right is Gary Reichert, one of the two Norfolk Southern employees who found the body.
Woman's body found in Buck Creek
By T.J. WILHAM
MUNCIE - Police are trying to determine how a badly decomposed body ended up in a creek and whether there is any link to a recent missing person case.
The body of a woman was found Thursday in Buck Creek underneath an old railroad bridge that is no longer in use.
It was found about 11 a.m. by Norfolk Southern Railroad workers who were using construction equipment to remove brush trapped underneath the old bridge, which is near 23rd Street.
Police said they did not know who the woman was, how she died or how long she had been in the creek.
X-rays of the body showed no bullets, broken bones or any other obvious signs that would suggest the woman was murdered, Delaware County Coroner Jim Clevenger said.
"It would be a guess right now to say that this is a homicide," Clevenger said. "It could be anything. This could be an accident, suicide. We don't know. We do know the body had been there a long time. We are talking months as opposed to hours, days or weeks,"
Though the can't identify the dead woman yet, police are checking on the possibility she might be 42-year-old Edna Crow, for whom police and family have been searching since October.
Crow was last seen on Sept. 4 when she and her boyfriend got into a fight at her home along South Walnut Street. Her home is 10 blocks from where the body was found, and her door is just yards from Buck Creek.
After the altercation, Crow went to the hospital and her boyfriend went to the Delaware County jail. The last person to see Crow was her father, George Crow, who dropped her off back at her apartment after she had been treated for minor scrapes and bruises.
Edna Crow wasn't reported missing until a month later when her landlord called her father and reported that the rent was due.
Family members found the door to her apartment open and all of her belongings inside including her purse and wardrobe.
Police do not believe that the boyfriend had anything to do with the disappearance. He was still in jail the day Crow was reported missing.
The city and county police departments are conducting a joint investigation since the body was found outside of the city limits and MPD had been looking for Crow, Deputy Police Chief Terry Winters said.
City detectives said Thursday they didn't know if the body found was Crow's. "It's an unidentified body at this point," Muncie police Sgt. Al Williams said. "We are too early in the investigation right now to draw any conclusions like that."
Last month, George Crow told The Star Press that he wasn't optimistic that his daughter was alive.
On Thursday, Mr. Crow didn't want to talk about the body found because police had not made an identification.
"It could be any woman that was missing," he said.
Clevenger said he planned to compare Edna Crow's dental records and DNA with the body's to see if they matched.
An autopsy is scheduled to be conducted today. Clevenger said he hoped that it would answer several questions including how the woman died.
Contact news reporter T.J. Wilham at 213-5832.
Copyright 2004 The Star Press.