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Friday, Dec. 26, 2014

Death investigation shifts to homicide

Friday, June 29, 2007

(Photo)
Contact the Putnam County Sheriff's Department at 653-3211.
A suspicious death that occurred in Putnam County on Monday is now being investigated as a homicide, the coroner involved in the case said Friday.

Putnam County Coroner Thomas Miller told the BannerGraphic that an autopsy performed on the body of Albert O'Neal Jr., 55, rural Coatesville, determined the man died from a gunshot wound.

Miller declined to say how many times O'Neal was shot or what part of his body was hit, saying that he may be able to release more information next week.

Officials are limiting what they release about the case at this point, they say, for fear of hampering the investigation.

Putnam County Sheriff's Detective Mike Biggs told the BannerGraphic Thursday that a family member of O'Neal called 911 at around 1 p.m. Tuesday to report the death, which investigators believe occurred at O'Neal's home on CR 900 East (County Line Road), about a mile north of Ind. 240.

Miller said the autopsy showed O'Neal died on Monday, but the actual time of death is unknown.

Biggs said that when he arrived at the home after 1 p.m. Tuesday and observed O'Neal's body, the man had "unexplainable injuries," which caused Biggs to call for a death investigation.

At this point, detectives will only say that they are continuing their investigation and have a list of people they would like to interview about the death.

They also collected a number of items relating to the case, which they declined to identify, and are still evaluating their significance at this time.

"Like all death investigations, there's a lot of field work and gathering of information that has to take place," Biggs said.

The sheriff's department is being joined in its investigation by the Greencastle Police Department, Indiana State Police and the coroner's office.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the sheriff's department tip hotline, which can be accessed through the department's main line at 653-3211.



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