Tag Archives: Sheriff

Still No Charges for Thomas "TJ" Snow

27 Dec Clifford and Joyce Snow

by Ken Davidson

On October 21, Sheriff John Buncich held a press conference naming Thomas “TJ” Snow as the lead suspect in the death of beloved teacher Cliff Snow and his wife Joyce. The couple were found in their rural home on October 18, 2013 after a call for a welfare check from their out of state daughter. Officers reportedly discovered a grizzly scene upon arrival at the home. Later reports indicated that the couple were beaten and strangled but an official cause of death has yet to be announced. Thomas Snow was apprehended in Minnesota after a short police chase on October 18. Snow waived extradition to Indiana on October 22, 2013 and was transported to the Newton County Jail on December 11, 2013. Since that time, officials have been mum on details regarding the case. The Gazette has learned, however, that charges have yet to be filed in the matter. Snow has an unrelated warrant from Lake County which will hold him if he is released from Newton County. Snow would be eligible for bond on both charges absent filing of the murder charges.

The Lake County Sheriff still seeks information from anyone who may have had communication with Thomas J. Snow during the period October 4 through October 18, 2013. Anyone with such information should call the Lake County Sheriff at 219.755.3371

Fugate Found in Cooler at Piatak Meats

4 Nov

by Ken Davidson

 

The office of Merrilee Frey is confirming that a body was found in the cooler at Piatak Meats, 6200 Broadway in Merrillville.  27 year old Andrew Fugate, the son of co-owner Steve Fugate, reportedly arrived at the store at 4:00 a.m. to begin his workday.  Sources confirm that his body was found at 7:00 a.m. when another employee showed up for work.  The Coroner confirms that the case is being treated as a homicide.  Sources close to the investigation have stated that Fugate was shot but the Gazette has been unable to confirm that with authorities.  Merrillville Police are being assisted by Sheriff John Buncich in the investigation.

Police are asking anyone who drove by the store between 4:00 am and 7:00 am to contact them at 219-769-3722.

Homicide investigation at Piatek Meats

Homicide investigation at Piatek Meats

 

Former Candidate Alleges Criminal Dirty Politics

25 Oct

By Ken Davidson

 

ralph levi make shocking allegations

Ralph Levi, former Sheriff candidate in Porter County makes some shocking allegations.

Former Porter County Sheriff candidate Ralph Levi has publicly claimed that his opponent’s supporters shot at his home and that his car was vandalized.  On Facebook today Ralph Levi posted the following statement:

 I will not run for Sheriff again in this election. Last Monday (21st) I spoke with Chairman Mike Simpson and Chief Mike Brickner and informed them of my decision. I have been involved with Republican politics for 47 years in Porter County and worked with many of you on various campaigns. I recieved nearly 20,000 votes in the last election but fell far short in a strange year. There are a few things you need to know about the opposition and I hope you tell your friends and push even harder for a Republican win in any office here.  .  .The Lain/Reynolds group of supporters shot my house twice during the campaign. I called the Indiana State Police since I could not trust the County at that point. My car was damaged 3 seperate times including being keyed, hood dented and outside mirror broken off. My wife was followed so closely on State Road 49 when she came home she couldnt see the grill of the marked or unmarked cars behind her. About 100 of my campaign signs were stolen or damaged beyond repair. If that wasnt enough, a Republican North County Councilman urged a lady to file a false police report against me just prior to the election. She personally told me about it and appologized to me months later. He even showed up in a front page newspaper photo while attending the Democratic election celebration for Lain. . .

The Gazette is following up on these allegations and will bring you further details early next week.  We wanted to share these shocking allegations.  The Gazette wishes to make clear that we have not verified the details of these allegations and they are made solely by Ralph Levi.

Sheriff Buncich Confirms Details in Lowell Murders

21 Oct

by Ken Davidson

thomas tj snow

Mugshot of Thomas TJ Snow who is currently in custody in Hawley, Minnesota

A Mugshot of Thomas “TJ” Snow’s arrest in Minnesota hung on the wall as Sheriff John Buncich confirmed the details of the crime previously reported by the Gazette.

Sheriff John Buncich held a press conference today with Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter, Coroner Merrilee Frey and investigators Leo Finnerty and Matt Eaton. The sheriff confirmed that the bodies found in Lowell on Friday were those of popular Morton High School teacher Clifford Snow and Joyce Snow. Buncich stated the bodies were “in an advanced state of decomposition.” As previously reported by the Gazette, the cause of death was blunt force trauma and strangulation. The bodies were identified via dental records according to Coroner Frey.

Buncich explained that his office received a request to perform a welfare check on the Snows on Friday October 18. When officers arrived at the home they noticed 13 or 14 newspapers in the driveway. Officers forced entry into the home and discovered the bodies of Mr. and Mrs. Snow.

Sheriff Buncich stated that there was evidence that Thomas TJ Snow had been “in and about” the residence subsequent to the deaths of his parents. Buncich explained that later investigation revealed that TJ Snow had used his parents credit cards subsequent to their deaths. When asked about the types of purchases Buncich responded “hotels, stores, etc.” Buncich said authorities would like to speak with anyone who may have had contact with TJ Snow during the period October 4-18.

An all points bulletin was issued for TJ Snow and a white Chevy HHR belonging to the deceased parents. Snow was arrested in Hawley, Minnesota on Saturday October 19. TJ attempted to flee from police after a routine traffic stop. Buncich described the apprehension as a “short pursuit after which Snow was taken into custody.” Officers traveled to Minnesota to speak with Snow. Buncich stated Snow was talking but had not confessed. He was scheduled to make a court appearance in Minnesota today.

Thomas Snow is officially a suspect in the deaths of his parents. He has not yet been charged. When asked about the procedures going forward, Prosecutor Bernard Carter explained that there are two warrants for the arrest of TJ Snow. Prosecutors in Newton County Indiana allege that Snow robbed a gas station on Route 10 on Thursday night. Additionally, there is a felony warrant for Thomas J. Snow for fleeing police in Lake County, Indiana that will allow officials here to hold him once he is released from Newton County.

Buncich credited Commander Eaton, the crime scene investigation staff, and the office of the coroner and prosecutor for working continuously since Friday to solve this case. When asked if there were other suspects in the case Buncich replied “No, not at this time.”

Buncich stressed that this is an isolated incident of domestic abuse and should not cause concern in the community. Thomas TJ Snow has not been charged and is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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TJ Snow Lead Suspect in Parent's Murder

21 Oct

by Ken Davidson

Thomas TJ Snow is in custody in Hawley, Minnesota after being arrested on a warrant for robbery stemming from a gas station robbery in Newton County, Indiana on Thursday October 17. Sheriff John Buncich confirmed that TJ Snow is officially a suspect in his parent’s death and has been questioned. Buncich described Snow as willing to talk to detectives but stated he has not confessed nor has he been charged. Sheriff Buncich asks that anyone who may have had contact with TJ Snow in the time between October 4 and October 18 to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 219-755-3371.

This update is live from the courthouse and further details will be provided as soon as possible. You can read the Gazette’s full cooverage of the Snow murders on our home page at The Northwest Indiana Gazette.

tom tj snow

Tom TJ Snow is considered a suspect in the murders of Clifford and Joyce Snow.