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Police find man dead near car on Crisman in Portage

WilsRiver38 killed Portage Dec. 10 2012. Porter County Sheriff's Department~Sun-Times Media

Wilson Rivera, 38, killed in Portage on Dec. 10, 2012. Porter County Sheriff's Department~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 13, 2013 6:15AM



PORTAGE — An Indianapolis man was shot to death in an apparent homicide Monday night along the railroad tracks that cross Crisman Road in Portage.

Portage Police Sgt. Keith Hughes said police received a 911 call around 5:48 p.m. about a suspicious car with its headlights on parked parallel to the railroad tracks in the 2100 block of Crisman Road and the callers heard a gunshot as well. Witnesses told police that they saw another person running from the scene.

Police found Wilson Rivera, 38, on the ground next to the driver’s side of the dark-colored car. Rivera sustained a gunshot wound to the head. Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said that a forensic autopsy will occur Tuesday or Wednesday in Mishawaka. Harris said Rivera used to live in Gary, which led to some confusion about his residence. Harris said Rivera’s driver’s license listed an Indianapolis address.

Rivera was arrested on multiple occasions in Porter County for public intoxication, invasion of privacy and disorderly conduct.

Hughes said police aren’t sure if the man was shot inside the vehicle or not. After tracking footprints and searching the wooded area, K-9 officers and the Lake County Sheriff’s Department helicopter did not turn up any suspects, Hughes said, so Portage detectives are interviewing Rivera’s family to trace his whereabouts in the days before his death.

Hughes isn’t sure if the suspect was in the car with the victim.

It’s the second homicide within the past two months in Portage. On Nov. 1, Carl Griffith Sr., 72, was shot to death outside his home in an apparent murder-for-hire plot; Gary residents Sheaurice Major, 42, and Dontaye D. Singletary, 20, have been charged in Griffith’s death.

Police Chief Troy Williams released a statement Tuesday afternoon about the challenge of solving Rivera’s murder.

“This murder seems even more isolated than the first; as it involves a former Gary, Indiana, resident who recently moved to the Indianapolis area. The degree of difficulty in solving the case will be more challenging than the first,” Williams said. “Our men and women in uniform will continue to make sure that our residents are safe. Minutes after the shooting our officers performed door to door canvasses, utilized the Lake County Sheriff’s helicopter, a Porter County Sheriff’s Department K9 and even used methods as Facebook to inform Portage residents of the situation.”



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