Valparaiso woman, 22, found dead; foul play suspected
By Christin Nance Lazerus firstname.lastname@example.org February 21, 2012 1:24PM
Sean Forgus of Hebron (left) and Ash-B Bisping of Valparaiso comfort each other as police investigate the death of Forgus' sister, Shawnna Forgus, 22, who was found inside a house in the 400 block of Courtney Street in Valparaiso, Ind. Tuesday February 21, 2012. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 23, 2012 8:15AM
VALPARAISO — Police suspect foul play and continue to investigate the death of a 22-year-old woman found, perhaps by one of her children, on Tuesday morning.
Shawnna Marie Forgus, 22, suffered obvious head trauma, according to Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris, but a cause of death had not been determined. A forensic autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday in Indianapolis.
When police and fire units arrived at 403 Courtney St. about 9:14 a.m., the woman was not breathing, a police release stated.
Anthony Davis, a family friend, said Forgus lived at the house along with her parents, younger sister, and two children, ages 4 and 23 months. Davis said he had heard she was beaten to death and that her 4-year-old son had gone to wake her up around 9 a.m. and found her cold. The child told Forgus’ mother, who called police.
The gray, two-story house was cordoned off with crime scene tape as officers from Valparaiso, Porter County and Indiana State Police combed the crime scene for clues.
Davis, along with other friends and family, spoke to police and waited next door for more information.
The coroner’s office was called to the scene about 3:15 p.m. Valparaiso Police Sgt. Mike Grennes didn’t cite a reason for the delay. Harris also said he did not know why his office was not called earlier but he said he planned to speak with the police chief about the delay.
Forgus’ brother Sean was stunned by the news.
“The cops will find him,” he said, referring to a man police are seeking for questioning. “You never think it’s going to happen to you.”
Friends cried and said prayers as Forgus’ body was removed from the house, and as the coroner’s van drove away, they bid her farewell with shouts of “Bye, Shawnna” and “Love you!”
Davis described Forgus as fun and outgoing.
“She was like a sister,” he said.
He said Forgus was starting to get her life on track, taking classes to become a medical assistant.
Best friend Aimee Walker said Forgus fell in with a bad crowd a few years ago.
“But she quit drugs, went into therapy and she was spending a lot more time with her kids,” Walker said.
Walker said her friend would talk to anyone.
“She was very down to earth and extremely understanding,” Walker said. “She never liked to be alone.”
Valparaiso police had no other comment.