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Men Identified in Marengo Death

Last updated on Friday, September 30, 2011

(MARENGO) - The man who died at an apartment in Marengo has been identified as 48-year-old Joe Wayne Hopper Jr., of Marengo, following an autopsy Thursday in Louisville.

In addition to releasing the dead man's name, an Indiana State Police news release says that the investigation continues and police believe the only two people at the apartment at the time of the death were Hopper and a second man, 31-year-old Jason R. Ferguson.

Ferguson was found unconscious at the scene and remains in the hospital in critical condition.

"Investigators have learned that Hopper and Ferguson were friends and were together in the apartment Tuesday night," reads the release.

"Evidence at the scene indicates that a struggle ensued between the two that led to Mr. Hopper's death. Investigators are still trying to determine why the struggle took place."

Police were called to 3437 Oak Grove Road Apartment 3 at about 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The preliminary investigation reveals that, at 5:46 p.m., the Crawford County Dispatch Center received a 911 call that one man appeared to be dead and another was unconscious. Officers and first responders arrived a short time later and called for an air ambulance to transport Ferguson to University of Louisville Hospital.

Officers secured the area and called for assistance from the Indiana State Police Criminal Investigations Division and crime scene investigators. After obtaining a search warrant investigators began to process the scene. The Crawford County coroner's office responded to the scene and pronounced Hopper dead.

"The circumstances surrounding this death investigation are suspicious, and if anyone has any information they are encouraged to call the Jasper Post," said Trooper Detective Troy Fischer. The phone number is (812) 482-1441.

The Crawford County Sheriff's Department and the Crawford County prosecutor are assisting in the investigation.

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