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Third body found buried in home
Thursday, December 11, 2003 Posted: 11:53 AM EST (1653 GMT)
HAMMOND, Indiana (AP) -- A third body was discovered buried beneath a layer of freshly poured concrete in the basement of a rundown apartment house, and authorities began autopsies Thursday to determine how the victims died.
The remains, discovered during a search for three missing teenagers, were found covered in heavy layers of plastic and duct tape. Police used a jackhammer and hand tools to find and removed the bodies from the concrete.
"The person took a long time in doing this," Lake County Coroner David Pastrick said Thursday. "It took a while for our pathologist to remove all that was around the body."
Two of the bodies were identified as white males. Pastrick declined to immediately discuss details of the third.
A tenant described as "a person of interest" had been taken into custody and was being questioned, Police Chief John Cory said. Cory would not identify the person in custody. No criminal charges were immediately filed.
Police have not said what led to them house where the bodies were found, but city officials said they have battled gang activity for years in the neighborhood of tightly packed, rundown homes.
Denise Moll and Paul Goddard wait for any word about their missing friend, Nick James, as authorities continued their search for bodies at a home in Hammond, Indiana.
Three male teenagers, ages 19, 16 and 13, had been reported missing in the area in recent months, Officer Michael Jorden said. The youngest, Michael Dennis, was last seen September 10 at a home near the one that was searched.
Joanna Gilkison, Dennis' aunt, waited outside the house as police worked.
"We're just hoping it's not him, but we don't know," Gilkison said.
Officers have also searched in and around the two-story apartment house using ground-penetrating radar equipment and a dog trained to search for bodies, Cory said. Tarps were hung between the house and the home next door, and newspapers covered a first-floor window to block views of the search.