ELKHART — A 17-year-old is being formally charged for the murder of 76-year-old Norma Hopper that happened Dec. 21.
Luis Alejandro Bailey, of 19751 C.R. 18, Elkhart, was arrested Sunday evening and booked at the Elkhart County Jail without bond. According to a press release from the prosecuting attorney, Bailey is being charged as an adult because under Indiana law juvenile jurisdiction does not apply in cases of murder.
Deputies from the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department responded around 10 a.m. to 54640 Michael Drive, Elkhart, where they found Hopper’s body. A blue 1998 Chevrolet Lumina was taken from the house that morning. Following an autopsy Saturday, the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department said the woman’s death was a homicide.
According to the preliminary investigation report of the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department, the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department was contacted shortly after 3 a.m. on Dec. 21 by Norma Hopper, who had advised that someone was ringing her doorbell at that hour. Patrol officers arrived at approximately 3:30 a.m., did a check and found no one suspicious around the residence. The officers then left.
During the course of the investigation, Sheriff’s deputies learned that Bailey was maintaining a relationship with a woman who lived in close proximity to the Hopper residence. Police further learned that Bailey had been at the nearby residence in the early morning hours of Dec. 21. The 1998 Lumina was later located abandoned in Michigan and police continued their investigation, leading to Bailey’s arrest sometime after 4:45 p.m. Dec. 23.
The investigation remains ongoing; however, preliminary reports indicate that Bailey was the lone assailant, according to the press release.
The Elkhart Circuit Court has scheduled an initial hearing for Jan. 3 at 8:30 a.m.