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State police continue probe into student's death

Friday, December 21, 2007

Indiana State Police are continuing to piece together a timeline of events leading up the death of a Greencastle High School senior on Dec. 15.

Dietrich Jackson, 17, was found dead in his grandmother's Greencastle home after attending a party the night before.

Indiana State Police District Investigative Commander Jeff Hearon confirmed Thursday that Jackson did not die of natural causes, but could not provide any more specific details, such as the results of the toxicology report or the actual time of death, as the investigation is still ongoing.

"We are actively investigating this," said Hearon, who says that there are four detectives and a crime scene technician working the case.

The detective refused to identify any targets of the investigation but said that the ISP have been receiving numerous tips from the community.

"We're working long hours interviewing multiple juveniles, adults as well as parents who have come forth with information," he said. "We've been getting some cooperation," he added, "but some people are not being as cooperative because they would place themselves at a location and bring embarrassment upon themselves."

According to Hearon, the ISP is aware that threats have been made against individuals alleged to be involved in the events surrounding the teenager's death.

"The school is taking precautions and the Greencastle Police Department is aware of the threats," he said. "We're trying to be proactive."

Greencastle High School Assistant Principal Russell Hesler confirmed that the school had beefed up security in response to rumors of possible violence.

"Anytime I get a tip or information I have to act on it," said Hesler, who reported that two additional police officers were stationed at the school Thursday morning. "I have to take precautions to maker sure that every kid is safe."

Hesler says the school day passed without incident.

ISP officials were unwilling to give a firm timetable for their investigation, but urged the community to be patient.

"I'm hopeful we can get the majority of the information in the next few days and bring this to an end," Hearon said. "But sometimes these things take a turn and that doesn't happen."


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What a terrible thing to find out that his death was not natural and others are being threatened if they come forward. This was a young kid-there would be no good reason for something like this to happen in Greencastle.

I hope the truth comes out in this case and those responsible should be put away for life.

This is a Tragedy.

My thoughts and prayers are with this family.

-- Posted by dbltrbl on Fri, Dec 21, 2007, at 6:02 AM

I believe what the article DID SAY was not natural causes. It DID NOT say this was drugs nor should we speculate the circumstances that surround this event unless we were present or we are an investigator. We certainly have enough gossip around here and this involves a child of our community. I have been trying to get this community to reach out to the youth prior to tradgey or incarceration or just getting in trouble for several years now. I about lost both of my children to this system and had begged for help. It seems that our system misses the boat here as NO ONE OR NO AGENCY will help these children prior to there being drugs involved, criminal charges, or tradgey. It seems they would rather have a funeral or treat kids for drug abuse or diagnose bipolar and medicate, than to address the core of the problems. Of course, it doesn't pay them to, as our community officials/agencies sure do like getting paid on all the grant money floating around and the only way to do that is to have messed up families and kids. And some like Dietrich, don't get a second chance. Bad thing about this is......Seems that the adults are responsible here. The buck stops there. Step up Greencastle. Get it together for the children that are bored, neglected, abused, depressed, whatever prior to sending them to foster homes, juvenile facilites, or the inevitable outcome of death. Offer services to our youth as there are many more than just this one death we may have been able to prevent. Offer services AND FOLLOW THROUGH to young parents and old parents as well.

SAD SAD SAD. But this is God's plan. God called Deitrich home for many reasons and I HAVE FAITH which gives me PEACE. I am sure there are several squirming as there should be. The Wrath of GOD coming down to RIGHT THE WRONGS done in this community is not a pair of shoes I would want to be in. But it is written and I had FAITH. We miss you Dietrich but you are alive in our hearts and our community and you will make a difference.

-- Posted by sADcOMMUNITY on Fri, Dec 21, 2007, at 9:35 AM

regardles if this is natural or a terrible accident this is a tragic loss and I pray for his family and friends. Years back someone close to our family, just about this boys age, simply went to sleep,the death was natural, just one of those things. May his family and friends be comforted.

-- Posted by Trying hard on Sun, Dec 23, 2007, at 10:50 AM

The truth has finally come out now. this is just not one persons fault it's a series of unfortunate mistakes others did. I am not even sure what to say. I know that the drug problem and these parents letting kids have parties with alcohol and no telling what else needs to be stopped. It seems many of my childs friends are going down the wrong path and many of the parents are to blame, they say well don't get caught I guess they think oh well we did it so can our kids. Well times have changed and teach your kids right. My kid has been shunned for the last month since I don't let him hang out with the pot smokers and test him. He is clean, his grades are up and I refuse to let him hang with kids who have no boundries. I don't think the boys that were with Dietrich that night made any smart decisions but they have to live with this, this will be their own devil that eats them up and any persons that saw Dietrich that night and didn't go try to take care of him. I hope the kids of Putnam county will learn a huge lesson from this and Parents for the love of God, call on your kids don't just call the cell phone call the house where they say they are. Go there, some might think I am over protective Mother, and I don't care what they think. All I want is for my kids to be safe, smart, caring ,bright young men someday and to be good husbands and fathers. The rate I am seeing of youth today looks slim. So if I am overbearing then I will take it as a compliment.

-- Posted by savethekids on Mon, Dec 24, 2007, at 8:09 AM

This is my second posting on this story, the first was expressing sorrow and praying comfort to his family and friends, Now around the teen set some sad talk is passing around, there are threats if anyone comes forward and tales of dumping the boy to avoid getting caught. A life was meaningless? It is time the Proscutor takes a long look at this type behavior because to many lives have been lost and will continue to happen if heads are buried in the sand.

-- Posted by Trying hard on Wed, Dec 26, 2007, at 4:19 PM

I'd really like to hear more about this story. I'd like to some some positive come out of this horrible situation. No matter the reason, choices, actions, etc... that caused this. There will be a lesson to be learned.

-- Posted by Hungry&Fat on Fri, Dec 28, 2007, at 8:53 PM

As a student of Greencastle High School I will be the first to admit we have a drug problem. But, I can promise you that the drug users only make up about 25% of our school population, which means 75% DO NOT do drugs. I do not do drugs and I don't want to. But, it's funny to me how all you people just keep going on about "the drug problem" when you don't even know if Dietrich's death was the result of drugs. I wish you guys would stop judging us because were teenagers and you think were on drugs. You all can keep saying "if GHS would have done this.." "if" "if" "if". But saying those words are not going to bring Dietrich back, and i have had to realize that myself. What happened happened for a reason and hopefully something good will come out of it. I know GHS students have woken up and realized that sometimes there is no second chance, and if thats all to come out of this tragedy then thank God.

-- Posted by cds1305 on Sat, Dec 29, 2007, at 9:40 AM

This is my cousin and I love him dearly. no one knows him like his family and let me tell you, Dietrich was quiet and never did anything to nobody. I'm glad that their are investigators involved. I believe justice will be served. I've never came on this site because I wasnt sure if I was ready to read about my cousin. I'm here now, and feel comfortable doing so. It seems like some of you on here are talking like he was some kind of lost kid or something. someone hooked on drugs and thats not even the case. This just shows you dont know him at all like we do. I will be at peace when everything comes out, and when the people involved including those "so called friends" that were with him that night are exposed and charged.This is a small town so you cant hide for ever! what goes around comes around. And please believe someone you know will "rat you out". I agree with you "sadcommunity" it is God's plan. We may never understand but everything is going to be alright. and for those like "UhOhNoNo" yeah your right, ITS JUST YOU to think there was no foul play, but like I said the truth will come out and we will see. and for you to say DRUGS. We dont know that for sure unless there is something you need to discuss with one of the detectives?? (umm humm) yeah..

Dietrich we love you and always will. The family is trying to stay strong. and I thank the rest of you on here for your thoughts and prayers.

-- Posted by K LOVE on Mon, Dec 31, 2007, at 11:27 AM

There have been several comments posted in response to related articles where students who actually knew Dietrich also suspected foul play. It's nice to see so many comments from former students who have moved away, but they should also restrain as much as possible from rushing to judgement, drawing conclusions and making presumptions. There has been a lot of talk here about drugs. Well people have been unknowingly drugged many times. Watch the news. Maybe in an attempted date rate situation or "so called" friends thinking they're playing a prank on someone to see how they would react high. Young people have also died from an allergic reaction to mediciation. Crissy Taylor (model, sister of Nikki Taylor) died after using a nose spray. (Primatine Mist or something like that). I knew a 19 yr old who died from NoDoz. Everything I have read and heard about Dietrich was positive. I hope his image and memory aren't tarnished by innuendoes. Even if they are intended to be well meaning. It is possible that his death was not his fault.

-- Posted by seekingtruth on Mon, Jan 7, 2008, at 3:26 PM


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