Suspicious death labeled homicide

A 17-year-old girl was found dead in a house in Granger over the weekend, and police say her death appears suspicious.
Posted on Nov. 4, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

17-year-old girl’s death result of ‘multiple sharp force injuries.’

Sharon Hernandez


ELKHART — Police continue to investigate the homicide of 17-year-old Tiana Alter, who officials say died of multiple sharp force injuries.

Deputies from the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department were called at 11:18 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, at 29482 C.R. 1, Granger. They found Alter’s body in a bedroom of the house.

A person of interest was arrested at the scene Saturday, but officials have not released the name yet. According to a press release from the sheriff’s department, the person was arrested on unrelated charges.

According to the Elkhart County Jail’s website, Michael Shoun, 26, was arrested at the C.R. 1 address and booked Sunday morning.

Shoun was arrested on warrants for three different court cases, in which he has been charged with failure to return to lawful detention, operating a vehicle as a habitual traffic violator, resisting law enforcement and possession of marijuana.

Meanwhile, friends and family remembered Alter as a smart, friendly girl who never got into fights or violent situations.

Clarence Stacker, Alter’s brother, said he remembers her as playful and popular.

“Tiana was bright. She did her own thing,” he said. “She wasn’t a follower, she was a leader. That’s what made her bright.”

Magaret Hemsley, who was neighbors with Alter and her family, said the teen used to hang out with her daughters and loved Hemsley’s chocolate chip cookies. She described Alter as a happy girl, who smiled at all times.

“She was like one of my kids. I miss her so much, and it is devastating to know that she is gone. I will never forget her.”

Shanta Clarke, one of Alter’s friends, said the 17-year-old had been going to a career center, or alternative school.

“She was a smart, beautiful, successful woman. Tiana was no fighter. She never wanted to fight anyone. She loved dancing and singing. She was such a loving person.”

Funeral arrangements for Alter are pending at the Walley-Mills-Zimmerman Funeral Home & Crematory.

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