Ambia man arrested after officers find body during welfare check

BENTON COUNTY – At the request of the Benton County Sheriff’s Department, detectives from the Indiana State Police Lafayette Post conducted a death investigation in Ambia, IN that occurred on Sunday, July 3rd.

Edward Bagwell

Benton County Sheriff’s Department received a request for a welfare check at a residence on East Oak Street in Ambia, IN. When Deputies arrived at the residence, they located 60-year-old Edward Bagwell, from Ambia, IN, who was living at the residence. Upon further investigation, deputies located one person deceased inside the residence.

Bagwell was taken into custody and later transported to Benton County Jail on the charge of abuse of a corpse – a Level 6 Felony.

Deputies requested the assistance of detectives from the Lafayette Post. Further investigation revealed that Bagwell attempted to improperly dispose the body, but the exact circumstances surrounding the death are still under investigation.

The Benton County Coroner has positively identified the victim to be 61-year-old Rita M. Spigner, who had previously resided in Ambia, IN, Hammond, IN, Akron, OH, Miramar, FL, Sunrise, FL, and Norfolk, VA.

All efforts by the Indiana State Police and Benton County Coroner to locate and notify relatives have, so far, been unsuccessful. At the request of the Benton County Coroner, the Indiana State Police is seeking the public’s assistance in locating the relatives of Spigner.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective AJ Smith by calling the Indiana State Police Lafayette Post at 765-567-2125.