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February 2017: Gym Named After Long-Time Principal, Missing Toddler Found Murdered, Bedford Man Shot And Killed
Updated January 2, 2018 9:05 AM
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(UNDATED) - In February 2017, a Salem Middle School Gym was named after a long-time principal; a child murderer pleads guilty; a missing Bedford man was murdered and a sex offender was sentenced to prison.

Gym Named After Principal

Principal Ray Oppel, who served his community in education for 49 years was honored in February after school officials named the Salem Middle School gym and the court after him for his untiring commitment to athletics and academics at Salem Middle School.

The gym was named the Ray C. Oppel Gymnasium and the floor of the building's newest gym was named the Ray C. Oppel Court, complete with his signature.

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The plaque summed up everyone's sentiments -- "A champion for Salem Community Schools and a pillar of Cub Pride for over 48 years."

Man Sentenced To 60 Years in Shaylyn Ammerman's Death

The man who killed 14-month-old Shaylyn Ammerman was sentenced to 60 years in prison after pleading guilty to murdering the toddler.


A medical examiner said in court documents it was "the worst case of sexual trauma she had seen in her career."

Parker agreed to plead guilty to first-degree murder and kidnapping. All additional charges against Parker would be dismissed, including rape, child molesting, strangulation, aggravated battery, obstruction of justice, and failure to report a dead body.

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Parker was at the Ammerman home the night Shaylyn disappeared. Her family reported her missing Wednesday, March 23 at 9 a.m. Her father says his mother put Shaylyn to bed late Tuesday but when they woke up in the morning, she was gone.

Police arrested Parker the next day after they found the 14-month-old's body near the White River in Gosport. An autopsy showed the girl died from asphyxiation.

Bloomfield Man Arrested For Murder

A Bloomfield man was arrested for murdering 21-year-old Chase Aliano, of Bedford.

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William Levi Abel is accused of murdering Aliano after police say he shot and killed Aliano and attempted to cover up the crime by hiding Aliano's vehicle, burning Aliano's clothes and other possessions and burying his body.

The investigation started on February 3, when Chase's father, Steve Aliano, contacted the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office to report his son missing on February 3. He stated that Chase had last been seen on January 31 at Abel's residence in Bloomfield, where Chase possibly intended to sell firearms to Abel.

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On February 4, a deputy from the Greene County Sheriff Office visited the Abel residence and, after receiving consent from Abel's father, searched the property. He found Chase Aliano's red Chevy Tracker and discovered that Able removed the license plate and then hid the vehicle about 200 feet from his home near the woods. The vehicle was parked near a small tree near the bottom of the ravine and was hidden behind an old mattress and pallet.

Abel told police the two had went to a cabin on Abel's familys' property on Jan. 31, 2017 to fire pistols and to smoke meth. He claims Aliano pointed a gun at him as they left the cabin, firing and missing. Able told police he had a .44 magnum in his hand, turned and fired twice at Aliano. Alaino was face down on the ground with the gun still in his hand. Abel approached Aliano and fired again.

He then wrapped Aliano's body in a sheet and used the car to drag the body into the woods. He then removed all of the clothing, placed the body in a hole in a creek and then covered it with rocks and sticks.
He then burned both Aliano's clothing and his own then returned the following day to bury the body more fully. He also reportedly shot at Aliano's cell phone and then threw it into the woods.

Abel kept the firearms, hand tools, money, wristwatch and items from Aliano's vehicle. He also allegedly tried to sell the firearms.

Preliminary findings from an autopsy conducted at Terre Haute Regional Hospital indicate that Aliano was shot six times, in a manner inconsistent with the narrative Abel provided to police.

A February 12th trial is scheduled at 9 a.m.

Bedford Man Sentenced To Prison

A Bedford man was sentenced to 16 years in prison after Lawrence County Superior Court I Judge Michael Robbins called him a violent sexual predator.

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29-year-old Joshua Love of Bedford pleaded guilty to charges of criminal confinement and sexual battery, in a negotiated plea deal in January.

As part of that plea deal charges of rape and battery resulting in serious bodily injury will be dropped.

According to police, Love posted job opportunities on Facebook and a woman answered the ad. Love drove to the woman's home in Mitchell and picked her up for an interview her. Love asked the woman "how bad she wanted the job." He then exposed himself to the woman. As they approached the railroad tracks on Yockey Road, Love forced her to perform oral sex on him. He was pleaded guilty to raping a then 25-year-old woman at a vacant property in Lawrence County.

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