16-year-old held in Merrillville homicide
By Christin Nance Lazerus firstname.lastname@example.org July 8, 2011 6:20PM
A picture of Anna Schulz in the 1998 Lew Wallace yearbook is seen Thursday, July 7, 2011, in Merrillville, Ind. Schulz was found dead Wednesday night in her Merrillville home. | Scott M. Bort~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 31, 2011 11:29AM
MERRILLVILLE — Police on Friday said a 16-year-old boy, who was suspected of robbing a house in Anna Schulz’s neighborhood, later killed her with a sharp-edged weapon on Wednesday.
Merrillville Police Lt. Jeff Snemis said police believe the teen’s motive was escape since he was chased on foot for his suspected role in a nearby burglary around 11:30 a.m.
There were no signs of forced entry at Schulz’s home in the 2500 block of West 58th Place, and she was killed as a result of trauma to the neck. The house was in disarray when her son found her around 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Police said the teen hadn’t been a student of 80-year-old Schulz — a Gary special education teacher — and he had no prior contact with her.
The boy, whose name police would not release, is being held in the Lake County Jail on probable cause for murder and auto theft, with charges likely to be filed soon. Snemis would not comment on whether the teen has confessed to the crime.
Police said the teen fled the scene in Schulz’s silver Cadillac DeVille, which was found Thursday in an alley in the 800 block of East 35th Court in Gary. A relative of his who lived at that house passed along another relative’s address where the teen might be staying.
Snemis confirmed the boy was arrested around 11 p.m. Thursday at a relative’s house in the 4000 block of Pennsylvania Street in Gary. He was taken into custody without incident. Snemis wouldn’t say if the teen had the murder weapon.
Police linked the two crimes when investigating the crime scene and speaking with neighbors and friends of the suspect. A neighbor who was working on his roof Wednesday afternoon provided a physical description that matched that of the teen.
Police Chief Joseph Petruch said the teen was kicked out of Merrillville High School at least a year ago, but he wouldn’t release details on whether he had prior run-ins with police.