By Ann Marie Shambaugh
A violent sexual assault reported in March in rural Zionsville didn’t really happen, the Boone County Sheriff’s Office said May 3.
As they investigated the incident, police said they discovered that the alleged victim lied about certain facts in a follow-up interview and that evidence at the scene contradicted some of her statements. The alleged victim has stopped cooperating with investigators.
On March 17, police received a 911 call reporting two dead bodies in a barn at 1545 S US 421. They discovered 76-year-old homeowner Helen Irene Fix uninjured, but her caretaker, a 41-year-old female, was unconscious and unclothed except for her bra. She had a black rope around her neck.
During the investigation, the alleged victim told police she was confronted by a masked man as she went for a walk with Fix. She said the masked man dragged her into a barn and sexually assaulted her. Because of a medical condition, Fix was unable to speak about the incident. A relief caregiver discovered Fix and the alleged victim in the barn and called 911.
BCSO has closed its investigation into the incident but could file criminal charges against the alleged victim. Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen said investigators can only speculate on her motive.
“We take every case seriously and we will leave no stone unturned. In this case our investigators did not leave a stone unturned and the outcome proved in many ways that this crime did not occur,” he stated. “Although we can theorize why someone would do this, we cannot prove the reason why this crime was alleged by the participant because they have stopped communicating with us.”
This is the second time in a year that law enforcement officials in Boone County have said a reported violent crime turned out to be fabricated. In March 2016, Tina Marie Rattinger reported that a man tried to abduct her at knifepoint while she took out her trash at the Domain at Bennett Farms apartments. The next month Zionsville police said she made up the story. Prosecutors did not press charges against Rattinger.