U.S. : Two men arrested in 1975 murder of 17-year-old Indiana girl

Sci­ence recent­ly helped solve the 1975 mur­der of a 17-year-old Indi­ana girl, and two sus­pects were indict­ed Tues­day, offi­cials said.

The sus­pects, iden­ti­fied as Fred Bundy Jr., 67, of Goshen and John Wayne Lehman, 67, of Auburn, were arrest­ed at their Indi­ana home on Mon­day, state police said.

Lieu­tenant Kevin Smith of the Indi­ana State Police said Lau­rel Jean Mitchell, 17, of North Web­ster, just fin­ished work at a Kosciuszko Coun­ty church camp around 10:00 p.m. on August 6, 1975. was last seen, he said at a press conference.

In a state­ment, state police said the sus­pects each face one count of mur­der and are being held with­out bail at the Noble Coun­ty Jail.

The case spans mul­ti­ple juris­dic­tions, but the accused is being charged in Noble Coun­ty, where Mitchel­l’s body was found.

There is no record of coun­sel in the court fil­ings in this mat­ter. The Noble Coun­ty Pub­lic Defend­er’s Agency did not imme­di­ate­ly respond to a request for comment.

Author­i­ties with search war­rants searched each sus­pec­t’s home and, in Lehman’s case, took DNA, Noble Coun­ty Attor­ney James Mau­ry said at a press con­fer­ence about the case.

“Sci­ence final­ly gave us the evi­dence we need­ed and played a big role in the pros­e­cu­tion,” Indi­ana State Police Inspec­tor Kevin Smith said at a news conference.

Wit­ness­es linked the men to Mitchel­l’s mur­der, and DNA evi­dence linked one of the sus­pects to the inci­dent, accord­ing to affi­davits filed for the war­rant appli­ca­tion, accord­ing to the Asso­ci­at­ed Press.

Mitchell dis­ap­peared while work­ing at a church camp near North Web­ster Lake, offi­cials said. His par­ents called the police when he did not return from work, and the next day, author­i­ties found his body in the water about 17 miles north of the camp.

The cause of death was deter­mined to be drown­ing, but the coro­ner lat­er said there were signs of a strug­gle on his body.

At a press con­fer­ence, offi­cials declined to say whether the two accused men knew each oth­er or what role they believed each played in the crime.

The first court hear­ings for each are expect­ed to take place Wednes­day at Noble Cir­cuit Court, accord­ing to state police and court records.

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