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IN- Elkhart police find bodies of two men inside car

Posted in Related Deaths
1-20-2009 Indiana:

Authorities say one of the victims could be missing Elkhart man.

ELKHART — A daylong search Thursday for a missing Elkhart man led police to a black car west of downtown, where the bodies of two men were found inside, police said.

The discovery was made about 2:30 p.m. in the 1300 block of Leonard Street, not long after homicide detectives searched the Elkhart County landfill after receiving tips from "multiple people" the missing man was there, police said.

Police had not identified the men as of Thursday night, but they believe one of the victims is 30-year-old Kevin K. Pendleton, who was reported missing earlier Thursday.

A cause of death has not been determined, but police said they believe the deaths are related to a shooting involving Pendleton that occurred about 1 a.m. Thursday in the 300 block of Chapman Avenue.

Pendleton was last seen leaving his apartment in the 300 block of Chapman at that time to talk to two unknown men in a black vehicle.

Pendleton's 28-year-old girlfriend told police that when Pendleton was in the car, she heard gunshots and saw bright flashes. The vehicle then left the area with Pendleton inside, she told police.

Officers were able to find additional witnesses who also verified they heard shots and observed flashes inside the car, police said.

The Elkhart Police Department Homicide Unit searched all day for the man, fearing he may have been killed and dumped somewhere, according to authorities. That led them to the landfill on County Road 7, where they came up empty.

Lt. Ed Windbigler, Elkhart police spokesman, said Thursday afternoon the car found on Leonard appears to match the description of the car Pendleton got into early that morning.

No arrests had been made as of Thursday night, although police said they are searching for a "person of interest" in the shooting/missing person case, 28-year-old Shawn C. Palmer of Elkhart.

Palmer — who police describe as armed and dangerous — has black hair, brown eyes, is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds.

Also of note, police said, is that Palmer owns a 2002 black four-door Chevrolet Malibu, which might match the description of the car recovered on Leonard. That car was towed for processing, police said. The Malibu has an Indiana license plate number of LO6853.

Pendleton's girlfriend told police Pendleton knew both men that he got in the car with, but she only knew their street names.

Pendleton has a criminal record, according to court records, and was charged last month for failure to register as a sex offender. His next court date is Feb. 24. ..Source.. by TOM MOOR, Tribune Staff Writer


UPDATE: Elkhart deaths ruled homicides

1-16-2009 Indiana:

ELKHART — The deaths of two men found in a car west of downtown Thursday afternoon have been ruled homicides, officials said.

Kevin K. Pendleton, 30, and John J. Williams, 26, both of Elkhart, were discovered about 2:30 p.m. in the 1300 block of Leonard Street.

Police said Friday that Pendleton died from a gunshot wound, but would not say how many times or where he had been shot. Williams also died from a gunshot wound, Elkhart County Deputy Coroner Jeff Landrum said.

Authorities, meanwhile, are still looking for 28-year-old Shawn C. Palmer of Elkhart, who they describe as a "person of interest" in the case. Palmer, police said, should be considered armed and dangerous.

Police say Palmer might have been in the car with Pendleton and Williams when they were killed. He is not a suspect at this time. ..Source..

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