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Wolfe's Body Found Bound In Duct Tape
Updated June 14, 2013 7:09 AM | Filed under: Crime
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Katelyn Wolfe 3.jpg

(LINTON) - When Indiana Conservation Officers Mike Gregg and Matt Landis searched the lake for Katelyn Wolfe's body they found her body bound in duct tape and rope with an anchor attached.

The body, recovered from the bottom of the lake, also had a white shirt duct taped over her head.

During an autopsy examination conducted by Forensic Pathologist Dr. Roland Kohr at Regional Hospital in Terre Haute on Tuesday afternoon, it was reported that duct tape was wrapped around Wolfe's head over the top of the shirt, covering her mouth and nose. She also had duct tape wrapped around her head covering her mouth, under the shirt.

According to Kohr's report, the cause of death was asphyxia due to smothering and the manner of death was homicide.

According to court documents, 26-year-old Jordan Burkirk and 25-year-old Randal Crosley admitted to planning to force themselves on a stranger. They had been making the plans for more than a week.

A few days prior to the alleged attack, Buskirk told police that he and Crosley traveled to Terre Haute where they bought condoms, handcuffs, restraint straps, rope and a 20-lb. weight.

Prosecutors filed murder charges against the two men Wednesday.

Buskirk told investigators the initial plan was to "rape and then murder" and that it was an idea that "popped in their heads."

Buskirk said they kept the items in the trunk of his car and that they weren't targeting Katelyn Wolfe specifically, but that they intended to attack someone.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Buskirk told police he and Crosley picked Wolfe up at her home about 1 a.m. then drove around doing drugs for awhile before deciding to stop and kill her.

Wolfe's father told the officer that around 3 a.m. on Thursday, Wolfe posted a status message on her Facebook account that read, "Trying to party looking for fun. Out on a walk with creeps that keep driving by."

Later in the investigation, officers learned Wolfe was already dead when that message was posted. Police believe the message was posted by one of her murderers as they drove around getting high, with Wolfe dead in the trunk.

Buskirk said the two men tied Wolfe up with a rope and attached the 20-pound weight to her body before dragging her down a hill and throwing her in a lake, police said.

Both Jasonville men also face charges of conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit rape and criminal confinement. They're being held without bond.

Investigators have conducted numerous interviews with Crosley, Buskirk, and other individuals in an effort to piece together a timeline of events and explain what happened to Wolfe in the hours leading up to her disappearance, and death.

Det. Goodman wrote that Crosley and Buskirk first told inconsistent stories during interviews. On Monday, Buskirk took a polygraph exam, conducted by Indiana State Police Sgt. Dan Gress, and failed. He next spoke with his attorney, then gave an account of what happened in an interview with ISP Det. Brad Stille.

According to the affidavit, Buskirk said he and Crosley met with Wolfe near her home in Linton around 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, to deliver Valium pills to her, then drove her back to her home and left without her. But Crosley was later texting Wolfe and made arrangements for them all to meet again near her home.

Buskirk said he and Crosley picked her up near her residence around 1 a.m. Thursday, June 6, and went driving around in the country. He said Crosley gave her more pills, and then they stopped in the middle of a Greene County road to murder her.

Buskirk explained the two men both got out of the car, and they opened the rear doors on both sides of the car and laid on Wolfe to pin her down. But there was a struggle as the two men pulled her from the back seat of the car. Buskirk said when he and Crosley climbed on top of Wolfe, it was with sexual intent.

During the interview, Buskirk said Crosley started choking Wolfe in a head lock and they let go when they thought she was unconscious. Buskirk allegedly handcuffed Wolfe behind her back while Crosley taped her mouth shut and duct taped her legs. Crosley allegedly hit Wolfe in the face multiple times because she was trying to bite them. Buskirk put his own white shirt over her head then put duct tape around her head and neck.

According to the affidavit, Buskirk said Wolfe was still conscious at this time and was trying to talk but could only make noise due to the duct tape. Buskirk said he asked her what she was saying but explained that "Crosley then started saying over and over that she needed to die" and Buskirk took a rope, wrapped it around her neck and choked her until she stopped struggling.

The two men then allegedly dragged Wolfe to the rear of the car, lifted her up, put her in the trunk and shut the lid. Then they drove around getting high and Crosley used Wolfe's cell phone -- he sent text messages, using Wolfe's phone, to his own phone and to his wife Tamera Crosley's cell phone. The men drove to a location near Sullivan to conduct a drug deal, with Wolfe's body in the trunk, but the deal didn't go through.

Next the two allegedly stopped at another rural location near Sullivan and got the body out of the trunk. Buskirk said Crosley used a rope to tie the body into a fetal position and he also connected the rope to a 20-pound weight.

From there, they allegedly drove to a lake where they got the body out of the trunk again and dragged it to the top of a hill and let it go. But, the head struck a tree branch on the way down, was gashed and bled, and the body got lodged. Buskirk alleged that Crosley then drug Wolfe's body the rest of the way to a ledge and threw it over a high wall into the lake, at some time after 3:10 a.m.

"Jordan Buskirk explained that he and Randal Crosley then returned to conducting their drug business," according to the affidavit.

The two allegedly cleaned the car out and returned to the lake later in the day to make sure the body had not floated back to the surface. They also disposed of various items in several different locations.

After the interview with Buskirk, Det. Goodman said Buskirk agreed to assist officers and they were able to recover numerous items as evidence, including duct tape, one of Wolfe's shoes, rope, restraints, a section of the tree that caused a gash in Wolfe's head, and a trash bag containing a pair of Buskirk's blue jeans.

Investigators say the murder took place on a county road in Greene County -- the lake where the body was found was in Sullivan County. On Tuesday, Buskirk accompanied officers to the locations where the events took place including the location where the body was thrown into the water.

Although Crosley and Buskirk were "persons of interest" very early in the investigation, officers did not know where to look for Wolfe.

Then on Sunday, June 9, they spoke to Tamera Crosley, wife of Randal Crosley, at the police department and she told them she had gone out to rural areas she was familiar with to look for Wolfe. She said at one of the lakes she went to, she saw a shoe floating on the surface of the water at the base of high wall.

Officers went to that location that day but did not locate anything on dry land. The next day, on Monday, June 10, they called in Indiana Conservation Officers and ICO Gregg made arrangements to search the lake. The body was recovered around 5 p.m.

Anna Rochelle, of the Greene County Daily World contributed to this story

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