Police officially close cold case after 17 years

·2 min read

Jan. 14—Police on Friday officially closed the case of a Kokomo woman whose body was found lying in her northside residence in November 2004.

According to a Kokomo Police Department media release, police responded to a residence in the 2400 block of North Apperson Way on Nov. 26, 2004, and that's where they located the body of 51-year-old Janet Yeary.

Her death at the time was ruled a homicide citing blunt force trauma of the head, and police launched a full investigation into the incident.

Part of that investigation was interviewing several individuals who might have known or seen something back then, and a person of interest quickly emerged, the release noted.

That person of interest was identified as a man named Danny Case, who police learned contacted a friend to give him a ride to the Indianapolis International Airport on the same day that Yeary was killed.

Case was later arrested by Indianapolis Airport Police on unrelated charges and placed in an airport holding cell, the release noted.

He was later found deceased in that same cell, and police believe he had hanged himself.

Over the years — though authorities continued to look into Yeary's death — investigators eventually coded the case as "cold" due to lack of new evidence and the only person of interest (Case) being deceased, KPD stated in the release.

But recently, police said an acquaintance of Case's came forward and told investigators that Case had confessed to killing "a woman on N. Apperson after knocking on her door and wanting to use her phone for a ride," the release indicated.

The acquaintance also told police that Case admitted to beating an elderly Howard County man to death as well, and that alleged incident has now been turned over to the Howard County Sheriff's Office for investigation.

Upon this discovery, investigators met with Yeary's family, and the release indicates that the family agreed the case should officially close at this time.

"We understand this is a difficult time for the family, as these conversations open the wounds that the senseless tragedy left with her family," police stated in the release. "Our condolences remain with Janet Yeary and her amazing family. We pray for peace for all of you."

Kim Dunlap can be reached at 765-860-3256 or at kim.dunlap@kokomotribune.com.

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