BY LAURI HARVEY
This story ran on nwitimes.com on Saturday, September
24, 2005 12:35 AM CDT
A spokeswoman for the FBI on Friday said there were no
new leads in the search for a man wanted in connection
with three murders and a rape.
Melvin M. Keeling, 43, of Loveland Park, Ohio, is wanted
on a federal fugitive warrant on allegations he killed
his 13-year-old neighbor, Katelind Caudill, early Monday
at her grandmother's home just outside Cincinnati.
Authorities also want to question Keeling in the
shooting deaths four hours later of Lisa Kendall, 29,
and Kendora Furr, 38, at a Remington Family Express
store near Interstate 64 and U.S. 24. in Jasper County.
A Gary resident reported to police Tuesday that a silver
minivan with Ohio license plates appeared overnight in
the 700 block of Durbin Street in Gary. That was traced
back to Keeling, prompting local police and the FBI to
take his case to the press to warn residents he may be
in the area.
"We want this kept in the public eye because he
certainly is armed and extremely dangerous," FBI Special
Agent Wendy Osborne, a spokeswoman for the agency, said
Reports of two Northwest Indiana sightings of Keeling --
one at the Smoke Shop at 1501 W. 81st Ave. in
Merrillville on Tuesday and another at the Gary Metro
Station of the South Shore train on Wednesday -- lead to
investigations. Local law enforcement and the FBI
determined the sightings were unsubstantiated.
Anyone with information on Keeling is asked to contact
the FBI GRIT office at (219) 885-1055 or his or her
local police department.
In Norwood, Ohio, mourners jammed a tiny church outside
Cincinnati on Friday to remember Caudill.
"Katie has gone home now," said Rev. David Gilbert,
delivering the eulogy for the Loveland Park girl. The
Victory Baptist Church pastor exhorted the crowd to live
their lives in such a way that they would see her again.
The eulogy included a reading from the Old Testament
Book of Ecclesiastics, which says there is a time set
for everything, including a time to be born and a time
"The service was very moving," said Bonnie Marion, a
family friend. "It's hard to give up an older person,
but when you have to give up a child, it's devastating."
The crowd of at least 200 family members, friends and
classmates was too large for the one-story, brick church
and spilled over into a side room, even though mourners
there could not hear the service.
Katelind was shot about 6:45 a.m. Monday at her
grandmother's home, where she lived. She had gone to
police days earlier with allegations that Keeling was
molesting a stepdaughter, according to court records
that were obtained by two newspapers.
Katelind had confronted Keeling, calling him a
pedophile, according to documents obtained by The
Cincinnati Enquirer and the Dayton Daily News.
The FBI and the Warren County sheriff's office have
repeatedly refused to comment on any link between
Katelind and Keeling. But the sworn affidavits show that
Katelind and Keeling's stepdaughter were friends.
Terry Kinney of the Associated Press contributed to this