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Two Gary homicides bring year’s total to 21

Police discovered body missing woman an overgrown alley near 8th Avenue Tyler Street Gary Ind. Wednesday morning July 18 2012.

Police discovered the body of a missing woman in an overgrown alley near 8th Avenue and Tyler Street in Gary, Ind. Wednesday morning July 18, 2012. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: August 20, 2012 11:50AM



GARY — A sanitary worker picking up garbage one block from the police station Wednesday morning found the lifeless body of Tywonekia Leon, who had been missing since Monday.

At the same time, the entire patrol day turn shift was at roll call four miles away, meeting at the scene of a shooting in Glen Park Tuesday night.

The victim, Kenneth Reeves Jr., 14, died later Wednesday.

Two homicides in one day, bringing the city’s 2012 toll to 21 violent deaths. Although homicides have been significantly lower most of the year, the gap compared to the same date in 2011 has been reduced to two.

Leon, 27, borrowed her sister’s car on Saturday and exchanged several texts with that sister, Victoria, and another sister, Lovie, during the weekend.

But the texts stopped abruptly Sunday night and the women knew their sister was in trouble.

On Monday, Victoria Leon found her car back at the victim’s Aetna home. Evidence there led police to believe the mother of two had been the victim of a violent crime.

Patrolman Joseph Gallagher was the first officer to arrive at the alley where Leon’s body was found, which may not be where she was killed, investigators said. The scene suggested she had been dead for more than a day.

Her son and daughter, ages 7 and 8, don’t know yet about their mother’s death, the sisters said.

As they began to plan funeral services, they recalled Leon’s love for her children, her joy at taking them places and her fashion sense.

“She was a diva,” Lovie Leon said.

She made friends easily and was health-conscious, working out every day.

Most important, Lovie said, “She was a woman of faith.”

Lt. Del Stout is investigating her death. Anyone with information can call him at 881-7439.

Reese was on the corner of 45th Avenue and Van Buren Street about 11 p.m. with his adult sister and others when an argument erupted. One man fired shots and the group scattered, police spokeswoman Cpl. Gabrielle King said.

When Patrolman Kevin Campbell arrived, Reese was collapsed on the corner, shot in the head. He died about 10 a.m. Wednesday at The Methodist Hospitals Southlake campus in Merrillville.

Adopting a practice from Chicago police, Gary Chief Wade Ingram, a former Chicago police lieutenant, has held roll call at locations where crimes have occurred.

The day shift assembled on 45th Avenue on Wednesday in response to Reese’s shooting.

The teenager lived just a few blocks west of the scene where he was shot.

Detective Cpl. James Nielsen is investigating the homicide. Anyone with information can call him at 881-4754.



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