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Second Body Found, Man In Custody
Updated August 26, 2015 8:17 PM | Filed under: Crime
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(SILVERVILLE) - A man, who is a suspect in two Martin County murders, is in custody after he crashed the vehicle he was driving during a high-speed pursuit with Lawrence County Police.

Martin County Prosecutor Mike Steiner say the first victim is an elderly male. The body was discovered around 9:30 this morning at a residence on Fred Sims Road, just north of Dover Hill near Trinity Springs, after a welfare check was done by a sheriff's deputy to check on his well being.

The first man, who police have not identified, was found in the garage.

Steiner has confirmed a second body was found around 4 p.m. near the original crime scene.

"An officer went into a garden area nearby and found a shoe," Steiner added. "The officer checked around and found a man in his 50s, covered in debris. He also was a victim of a homicide."

Authorities say they have reason to believe the two deaths are related.

Police have made an arrest and the suspect is being held in the Martin County Jail. Officials have not released the names of the victims or details on how they died.

The case is being investigated by multiple agencies including the Martin County Prosecutor's Office, the Martin County Sheriff's Department, the Martin County Coroner, Indiana State Police and the Daviess County Sheriff's Department.

Lawrence County officers got involved after the department received a call from the Martin County Sheriff's Department at 2:11 pm. requesting officers be on the lookout for a murder suspect driving a green Pontiac Sunfire.

"The suspect was to be considered armed and dangerous," Sheriff Mike Branham says. "He was last seen traveling eastbound on Ind. 450 from Martin County to Lawrence County."

Sheriff Branham sent several of his officer west out Ind. 450, while he and Chief Deputy Aaron Shoults headed westbound on Ind. 158.

Officers were sent to Williams because police had received a report that the suspect was spotted at the Williams Post Office.

"We went towards Fayetteville in case he cut across," Sheriff Branham added. "As we were turning off Ind. 158 onto Sandstone Road the vehicle passed us."

Shoults then turned the police car around and followed.

"We caught up with the driver and were able to confirm by running the license plate that it was in fact our suspect," Branham added.

The suspect then turned north onto Fayetteville Owensburg Road, where Sheriff Branham and Shoults attempted to stop the vehicle.

"We turned on our red and blue lights and he didn't stop," Sheriff Branham added. "We then turned on the siren and that is when he increased his speed."

The pursuit continued passed Maul Ridge Road to Armstrong Station Road where the suspect lost control of the vehicle in a curve.

"The vehicle hit a culvert, but he managed to keep going," Sheriff Branham added. "He lost control of the vehicle a second time in a curve on Indian Creek Road, but manage to keep going."

Branham says speeds reached between 50 to 70 miles per hour.

"We were lucky there was not much traffic," Branham says. "Those speeds were high, but we felt we could continue the pursuit because of the seriousness of the crime."

When the suspect reached Ind. 158 he turned west and headed toward the Crane gate.

"That is when he really took off," Sheriff Branham added. "I couldn't even guess how fast he was going. We backed off because we knew there was no way he would make the curve at that rate of speed."

And the suspect didn't. He crashed in the 1300 block of Ind. 158.

"He took out the mailbox and hit driveway culvert and then crashed into a small tree," Branham says.

Officers approached the vehicle with caution and were able to arrest the suspect without incident.

"He was not injured and we got him in the back of the patrol car and then called off the pursuit," Sheriff Branham says. "Martin County Sheriff James Roush arrived on the scene and took the suspect back to Martin County for questioning."

Sheriff Branham says the suspect will face several felony charges in Lawrence County.

"We will file a report with the Prosecutor's Office tomorrow," Sheriff Branham says. "But for now he is facing more serious charges in Martin County. If they do not have enough evidence to hold him there, he will be brought back to Lawrence County to face our charges."

Sheriff Branham says no officers were injured during the pursuit of the suspect, but one vehicle was towed after it hit a piece of metal in the roadway and had a flat tire.

Martin County Sheriff Roush says no information about the suspect is being released at this time, but a press release will be released as soon as possible.

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