Homicide, suicide in Elkhart County linked

The sheriff's department has confirmed that murder and apparent suicide this weekend were linked.
Posted on Dec. 3, 2012 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Dec. 3, 2012 at 3:48 p.m.

ELKHART — The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department confirmed today that Ervin K. Howard, who died of an apparent suicide Saturday morning, was responsible for the death of 45-year-old Debbie McDowell.

According to the Sheriff’s Department’s initial investigation, Howard, 63, called 911 and claimed to have shot McDowell. He gave specific details of the incident, which were confirmed by their investigation through evidence that was collected.

Sheriff’s officials received a call about a body in the old American Countryside parking lot off C.R. 26, just west of S.R. 19, around 10:50 a.m. Saturday morning.

Howard’s body was found in a parking lot at 2210 Franklin St. in Elkhart, about an eight-minute drive from where McDowell’s body was found.

According to the press release, Howard and McDowell “were known to each other,” though the extent of their relationship is unknown at this time.

The case is still under investigation at this time, and the Sheriff’s Department is working with the Elkhart Police Department and the Elkhart County Coroner’s office.

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