Gary cops pull over car, woman found dead in passenger seat
By Matt Mikus and Lori Caldwell firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com December 6, 2012 9:28PM
Updated: January 8, 2013 6:34AM
GARY — A St. John woman who was driving her sister-in-law’s dead body through Gary Thursday night was arrested and charged with operating while intoxicated.
Julie Ann Hacker-Keminsky, 28, tested positive for heroin.
Her sister-in-law, Kristy Hacker, 36, of Calumet Township, was slumped in the passenger’s seat when Patrolman Jeston Walker stopped the car at 25th Avenue and Harrison Street.
Walker, a member of the Crime Suppression Unit, noticed the front end of the maroon Pontiac Grand Am had extensive front end damage and a missing headlight.
He noticed the driver appeared “flushed and pale” and she had trouble locating her driver’s license.
A 13-month old boy, the driver’s son, was in the back seat of the car. His father retrieved the boy at the scene, police said.
After asking the driver to wake her passenger, Walker attempted to rouse the passenger as well.
The Lake County Coroner’s office later identified the dead woman as Hacker, 36.
An autopsy was being performed Friday. Chief Wade Ingram said there appeared to be no sign of trauma and speculated she may have died from a drug overdose.
The child was unharmed. Hacker-Keminsky faces felony charges of child endangerment. Detective Cpl. Edward Gonzalez is investigating the incident.
The driver was taken to Methodist Hospitals for unknown complications.
Walker said they do not know how the vehicle was damaged.
“We don’t suspect that this is a homicide,” Ingram said.