Police: Truck theft ties four to death, robbery of Austin coin dealer
SCOTTSBURG, IN (WAVE) - A woman, her two adult sons and one of their girlfriends are in the Scott County Jail facing a variety of charges tied to drugs and stealing a pickup truck. But Indiana State Police troopers believe at least one of them robbed and killed John Turner, 78, on November 7 inside his coin and jewelry store in downtown Austin.
"We don't feel that there's any worry out there of a gunman on the loose, you know," said Sgt. Jerry Goodin of the ISP Sellersburg post.
Troopers and Austin police arrested the four on November 9 after serving warrants at a home in the 5200 block of Water Tower Road. Goodin said they were looking for James Matthew 'Matt' Caudill, 21, and his girlfriend, Ginger Cox, 23, for auto theft after finding the truck on the property days earlier.
"We found Matt and Chris (brother Christopher Caudill, age 31) in the woods," said Goodin. "Cox was in the house and the mother (Patricia Caudill, age 50) was hiding her."
But Goodin said a search warrant turned up more - jewelry and other items that had been taken from John Turner's store. Chief Donald Spicer of the Austin police said that was "enough to charge Matt Caudill with another armed robbery."
Spicer said Caudill's clothing and manner matched the description of a suspect who robbed a Fuel Mart on October 23. Finding the jewelry and coins prompted a full search of Patricia Caudill's property Monday evening and Tuesday with sniffer dogs and metal detectors.
"We found more property," Goodin said. "We want to proceed very carefully with this and not jump to any conclusions."
Neither troopers nor Austin Police would say whether they have recovered a weapon believe used to kill Turner or to rob the Fuel Mart.
"We're all in shock," Spicer said. "This is a close-knit community, and it's hard to believe that a local person could kill a local person."
"But they can rest at ease," said Goodin. "We believe we have who did it."
Investigators were unable to say when or what additional charges might be placed and on whom.
Cox and Matt Caudill have had a 15 day hold placed on them, after which their bond will be set at $45,000 according to the clerk's office of Scott County Superior Court. Chris Caudill's case has been transferred to Circuit Court. Patricia Caudill is expected to make her initial court appearance on November 12 for one count of harboring a fugitive.
John Turner's survivors are his wife, two daughters, three brothers, three sisters and five grandchildren. Services are at 11 a.m. Thursday, November 12, at Austin Christian Church. Visitation at the church from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. November 11 and 10 a.m. on November 12.
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