A rural Washington County resident suspected of murdering a Little York area man was arrested at Boatman and York Roads last Thursday afternoon by Austin Police after the car he was driving was reported stolen.
MICHAEL J. SANDERS
State, county and local police had been looking for Michael J. Sanders, 34, of 7797 E. New Cut Road, Scottsburg in connection with the murder of Skyler Naugle, 35, earlier last week.
What began as a search for a missing person on Saturday, July 21, resulted in the discovery of Naugle’s body on Monday, July 23. Naugle was buried in a shallow grave at the New Cut Road residence when Sanders lived. The victim had been shot in the head.
Sanders was charged with murder and jailed in Washington County.
Here’s what police reported:
Naugle was last seen at his parents’ residence on West Point Road in Washington County around 10 p.m. on Sunday, July 15, according to the probable cause affidavit. His family reported him missing July 21. He had been employed at Ohio Valley Pre-Cast in Charlestown and had failed to show up for work all week and had not picked up his paycheck, the court document read.
Family members had been making contact with Naugle’s friends and acquaintances in an attempt to locate him.
According to Indiana State Police Detective Matt Busick, Naugle’s wife, Ashley Perry, spoke with Michael Sanders at his residence and was told by Sanders that he had received a text message from Naugle on Monday morning, July 16, seeking a ride.
Authorities discovered from the cell phone provider the area where Naugle last used his phone was in Gibson Township in Washington County. Police searched the area with no results.
Washington County Deputy Ryan Larrimore went to Sander’s home on New Cut Road to question him. According to the probable cause, Sanders told Larrimore he drove Naugle to the area of his home on East New Cut Road. He said he last saw Naugle leave with an unknown woman driving a red Chevy Blazer.
On Monday, July 23, Busick and ISP Detective David Mitchell, went to question Sanders. During the course of their discussion, Sanders offered conflicting statements.
Sanders told police that he had lost his cell phone “three to four days ago and motioned to a wooded area north of his residence which is also the approximate location where Naugle’s cell phone ping was received,” according to the court document.
When police informed Sanders that a search warrant was being sought and that additional state troopers would be arriving to assist in the search, Sanders began walking around the property.
Sanders asked what police were searching for. Police told him that the purpose of the search was to find Skyler Naugle, A short time later, Sanders walked away from his residence and was last seen walking down East New Cut Road.
After obtaining the search warrant and gaining consent to search from the property owner, authorities discovered the body, later identified as Naugle, buried in a shallow grave about 75 feet from the residence in a ditchline in a nearby woods.
A sawed-off 20 gauge shotgun, believed to have been used in the shooting, was recovered from inside the residence.
An autopsy performed last Wednesday, could not positively determine the identity of the deceased. “However, tattoos located on the body matched Skylar Naugle’s tattoos,” according to the probable cause.
The court document also reported that inside the body bag used to transport the deceased to the autopsy a plastic shotgun wadding was found.
Authorities had discovered a spent 20 gauge shotgun shell near a burn pile.
According to the probable cause, Busick said that ISP crime scene technicians performed Luminal testing of the area. “The luminal testing was positive showing a trail from where (the) 20 ga. shotgun casing was discovered near the burn pile to the location in the woods where the body was buried,” Busick said in the probable cause.
Police had been looking for Sanders as a person of interest in the case when a report of a stolen 2007 gold Ford Focus was made in the vicinity of where Sanders was last seen on East New Cut Road.
That report enabled Austin Police to locate Sanders in southwest Austin and place him under arrest.
According to ISP Sgt. Jerry Goodin, other charges are pending against Sanders.
No motive has been given for the murder.
Nearly all of Indiana’s public school districts have requested handheld metal detectors through a new state program that will offer the devices to schools for free.
More than 94% of the states public school districts have requested a total of 3,228 devices. Of the 369 school districts making requests, 271 were traditional public schools
In early July, Gov. Eric Holcomb’s office announced a new initiative to provide handheld metal detectors to all schools that want them. According to the governor’s office, 94 percent of all traditional public school corporations had requested the devices, along with many public charter and private schools.
All traditional public, charter and accredited non-public schools are eligible for one device for every 250 students enrolled.
“I am pleased so many of our schools have chosen to request these metal detectors,” Holcomb said last week. “This program is all about giving local school leaders one more resource at their disposal to include in their safety plans.”
The new program comes after a student was accused of bringing two guns into Noblesville West Middle School and opening fire in a science classroom May 25.
A 13-year-old student Ella Whistler and teacher Jason Seaman were injured in the incident. Seaman underwent surgery and was released from the hospital the day after the shooting. Ella continues to recover from multiple serious injuries sustained when she was shot seven times.
In the days after that shooting, many wondered how someone was able to bring guns into the school undetected.
Noblesville, like many school districts, does not have metal detectors installed at its school entrances. School administrators around the state have said cost and logistical challenges of getting hundreds— and sometimes thousands— of students through such checkpoints make them poor solutions in many instances. Handheld devices, though, could be used more easily or on a case-by-case basis.
At a news conference in the shooting’s aftermath, Holcomb pledged to provide whatever resources are needed while touting the state’s ongoing commitment to school safety. Indiana already requires schools to have robust safety plans and a safety specialist. At the behest of the governor, lawmakers boosted an existing school safety grant program from $10 million annually to $15 million during this spring’s special legislative session.
The Indiana State Police and Department of Administration are coordinating the program and placed the first order. The devices are expected to be delivered to schools around mid-August, just after most districts start the new school year.
Schools that are interested but haven’t placed an order yet will have another opportunity this fall, according to the governor’s office.
Area Schools Making Requests
For Handheld Metal Detectors
Crothersville Community Schools 2
Scott County Dist. 1 (Austin) 4
Scott County Dist. 2 (Scottsburg) 9
Brownstown Central 6
Carr Township (Medora) 1
Jennings County 14
The Tri-County Conservation Club will be holding a fish fry on Saturday, Aug. 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call-in orders can be placed by calling 812-498-4447 or 812-498-4448. The menu will consist of fish sandwiches, chili, french fries, desserts and drinks.
Anyone wishing to set up for a Yard Sale can do so free of charge as long as they are a non-food vendor.
This fish fry is a club fundraiser time to help to pay their monthly bills, and keep the lake stocked.
After a 10-month investigation, Indiana State Police last week charged a Scottsburg physician’s office employee with theft, forgery, fraud, and corrupt business influence.
Courtney Brewer, 28, of 694 East Marshfield Road, Scottsburg, turned herself in to the Indiana State Police Post at Sellersburg on Thursday, July 19, after a probable cause affidavit was presented earlier that morning by the Scott County Prosecutor Chris Owens in Scott County Circuit Court.
According to ISP Sgt Jerry Goodin, the arrest was the result of a nearly ten month long investigation that was initiated when a Scottsburg doctor noticed possible prescription fraud within his practice. After uncovering the possible prescription fraud he then noticed what appeared to be fraudulent transactions in his bank statements and other funds, Goodin reported.
ISP Sgt. Tracy Spencer from the Indiana State Police Post at Sellersburg was assigned to investigate and discovered Brewer, an employee at the doctor’s office, allegedly stole money and prescription forms which she wrote for controlled substances.
“The stolen money totaled about $80,000 and there were over ten controlled substance prescriptions stolen and fraudulently written to her,” Goodin reported.
Brewer was booked into Scott County Jail just before 1 p.m on July 19 facing charges of charges: Corrupt Business Influence, Fraud on a Financial Institution, two counts of Forgery, 11 counts of theft, 12 counts of prescription forgery.
Goodin said the investigation is continuing.
Scott Lodge #120 F&AM will hold an auction on Saturday, July 28 beginning at 6 p.m.
The lodge will serve food beginning at 4 p.m.
The public is invited to attend. Scott Lodge #120 is located on US 31 in Austin just north of the Dairy Queen.
Orientation for students enrolled at Austin Christian Preschool for the 2018-2019 school year will be held tomorrow (Thursday) July 26 at 6 p.m. After a short meeting to go over the Handbook and Preschool calendar, students and parents can meet the Preschool staff and visit the classrooms and playground area.
Openings are still available for 3, 4, & 5 year old youth. Parents can call the Austin Christian Church office at 812-794-2541 to enroll.
Classes start Tuesday, August 14, for the 3-year-olds and Wednesday, August 15, for the 4-& 5-year-olds.
Austin Christian Church is located on Highway 31 South of Austin.