Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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Police offering reward for info on 1975 Kosciusko County murder case

Wawasee student Laurel Jean Mitchell was last seen leaving work at Epworth Forrest in North Webster Aug. 6, 1975.

Posted on June 30, 2014 at 7:07 p.m.

FORT WAYNE — Cold Case investigators with the Indiana State Police are seeking help with a murder case that occurred 39 years ago in either Kosciusko County or Noble County.

According to Detective Kevin Smith, 17-year-old Wawasee High School student Laurel Jean Mitchell was last seen leaving work at Epworth Forrest in North Webster at approximately 10:15 p.m. on Aug. 6, 1975. She was found dead the next day in the Elkhart River in Noble County.

Investigators are asking for the public’s help in identifying a group of young people who may have performed as a singing group at the Cokesbury Inn inside Epworth Forrest that night. The group of four or five girls and boys are believed to be from the Delphi area and told witnesses they sang at the Cokesbury Inn that night.

The members were approximately 16-22 years old at the time and travelled in one vehicle. Investigators believed that they stopped at the North Webster fire station at around 10:30 p.m. that evening.

Smith said that there is still a reward for information that leads to the solving of this case. Anyone with information that identifies the singing group or their members — or on the Laurel Jean Mitchell case itself — is asked to contact Indiana State Police Detective Kevin Smith at 260-403-2841 or at 260-432-8661.


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