WASHINGTON COUNTY, IN (WAVE) – Indiana State Police has made an arrest in connection to the case of a body found in Washington County.
Police said around 12:30 p.m. Thursday a report of a stolen gold 2007 Ford Focus was made on East New Cut Road near the location where wanted murder suspect Michael Joseph Sanders, 34, was last seen on Monday. The search resulted in Sanders being stopped on Boatman Road and York Road in Austin by an Austin City Police Officer.
Sanders was arrested and has been charged with murder in the death of missing person, Skyler Naugle, though an autopsy performed Wednesday could not confirm Naugle's identity matched that of the body found in the woods. The autopsy did confirm the person was killed by a gunshot wound.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office released more details about Naugle's disappearance on Thursday, saying his parents, Amy and William Naugle, filed the missing person's report on July 21. Amy told police that Skyler had last been seen at their home in Salem around 10 p.m. on July 15. Police further learned that Skyler was employed at Ohio Valley Pre-Cast in Charlestown, IN, and not only failed to show up for work that week, but also never picked up his paycheck.
Naugle's wife, Ashley Perry told police she spoke with Sanders in an attempt to locate her husband. Sanders reportedly told her he had received a text from Skyler on July 16, asking for a ride to New Albany to meet a girl. He then changed his story and said Skyler met with a woman named Mercedes Roll from New Albany. Roll later told police she hadn't heard from Skyler since July 13, when they had a conversation about go-carts, according to police.
Police questioned Sanders again on July 23, During this discussion he informed police that he lost his phone in a wooded area near his home -- the same area where Skyler's cell phone ping was last received, according to police.
A body was located on the property on East New Cut Road in Scottsburg on the same day. Officials have not confirmed the identity of the body, but believe the tattoos match those of Skyler Naugle's.
Other charges are being for Sanders as the investigation continues.
Sanders is being held in the Washington County Jail without bond.
His initial hearing will be Friday, July 27 at 10:30 a.m. in the Washington Circuit Court.