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Single gunshot killed Statler

Police announced Tuesday that a single gunshot to the head killed a 70-year-old landlord Friday. Lt. Tom Cutler, a spokesman for the Elkhart Police Department, said investigators also believe Stuart

Posted on June 18, 2003 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on June 18, 2003 at 5:40 p.m.

By Tom Dolan

Truth Staff

ELKHART -- Police announced Tuesday that a single gunshot to the head killed a 70-year-old landlord Friday.

Lt. Tom Cutler, a spokesman for the Elkhart Police Department, said investigators also believe Stuart Statler died hours before he was found inside 916 Madison St. at about 8:20 p.m. Friday.

"All of the indicators are it happened hours prior to that. Somebody heard a shot around the probable time, 3:30 or 4 o'clock," Cutler said. "We know there were some people in the area seen by residents. We're trying to find them to see if they know anything more about this."

Friends and tenants of Statler's rentals said he had a reputation as a good man and a good landlord, having been active with the Michiana Rental Association and renting properties since the '70s.

Investigators have found he also had a reputation as someone who often carried cash.

"He carried a large amount of cash with him. I think it's a fairly well-known thing," Cutler said. "We found a number of checks he had probably cashed before he was killed. We're trying to establish a timeline with those individuals.

"We're looking at that (robbery) as a possible motive," Cutler said.

Neighbors told The Truth they suspected Statler was showing the Madison Street rental property to a potential tenant when he was shot.

Work continued on the case Tuesday, Cutler said, though no arrest had been made.

Anyone with information on the case is being asked to call Detective Terry Whitley or Detective Lt. Peggy Snider at (574) 295-7070, the department's anonymous tip line at (574) 389-4777 or Crime Stoppers (800) 342-STOP.

Contact Tom Dolan at tdolan@etruth.com


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