At press time, police still did not know for certain the identification of human remains found on a farm in the southeastern corner of Montgomery County, and they weren’t releasing any further details except to say that the remains were discovered in connection with a 1996 Hamilton County homicide investigation in which John Smith was arrested and convicted without the recovery of a body.
On May 28, while acting on information received about the 1996 homicide, the Hamilton County and Montgomery County sheriff’s offices, the Indiana State Police and Montgomery County Coroner’s Office executed a search warrant at the farm and discovered the remains. An autopsy was performed May 29 in Terre Haute but the procedure was unable to identify the victim. Dental records and DNA will now be used to try to establish a positive ID, but officials don’t know how long that process will take.
Smith was found guilty of murdering Carmel resident Ennis Craig Roberts in October of 2000 after Roberts disappeared in November of 1996, according to court documents. Smith, who was Roberts’ employee, was sentenced to a 95-year prison sentence for the murder and for stealing Roberts’ vehicle, using his credit cards and forging his checks.
Law enforcement was assisted by the Forensic Anthropology Dept. of the University of Indianapolis as well as the Crawfordsville and Ladoga fire departments and an internal affairs investigator for the Indiana Dept. of Correction.
In another death investigation case, Carmel police still have not announced the identification of a female body found May 23 inside a self-storage rental unit at Public Storage, 1099 N. Range Lane Rd. Employees found the body inside a car that was parked inside a storage unit when they entered the unit to inspect its contents for auction.
Police do not suspect foul play but cannot determine a cause of death until they have the autopsy results, which had not been announced as of press time. The woman appeared to be in her thirties and was suspected to have been deceased for many weeks when she was found, according to police.