Man and woman found dead lived near each other

Two people found dead Saturday morning lived near each other south of Dunlap.

Posted on Dec. 2, 2012 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Dec. 2, 2012 at 3:51 p.m.

ELKHART — A man and a woman found dead on Saturday in two separate locations owned homes less than a mile apart from each other, according to Elkhart County’s land records.

A police report identified the body of a woman found in a parking lot off of C.R. 26 as 45-year-old Debbie McDowell of Elkhart. A man found dead about an hour later roughly three miles away was identified as 63-year-old Ervin K. Howard. McDowell and Howard both lived south of Dunlap. Police are investigating whether the two deaths are connected.

The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department found McDowell’s body at 10:50 a.m. Saturday near the former American Countryside Farmers Market, where she appeared to be wearing a blood-stained shirt. Though few details have been released, McDowell’s death is part of a homicide investigation. An autopsy may be performed Monday or Tuesday.

Elkhart police responded to 2210 Franklin St., formerly Poor Tony’s restaurant, after receiving information that a male there would have information about McDowell’s death. Howard was found dead in the restaurant’s parking lot around noon with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to police.

Police indicated on Saturday that the public should not be concerned about safety following this weekend’s discoveries.

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