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Police and fire

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    17-year-old Brandon Smith who had been missing since Friday, was found safe in downtown Fort Wayne Sunday morning, the Huntington County Sheriff’s Department said.
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    A teenage boy with special needs is still missing from Huntington County, and police hope the public can offer some tips.
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Area man faces count of murder

Blunt-force slaying suspect linked to victim’s car, wallet

Alexander

– A man arrested in the beating death of an Allen County man was formally charged Thursday with murder.

Michael R. Alexander, 33, of Auburn is accused of killing Gregory A. Funich, 42, who was found dead about 11:30 a.m. Saturday in his house at 5315 Lonesome Oak Court in the Oak Crossing addition north of Fort Wayne.

His skull had been shattered, and he had severe cuts to his face and head. He died from blunt-force trauma to the head.

On Aug. 10, the day before Funich’s body was discovered, an IPFW police officer spotted Alexander driving with a flat tire about 4:30 a.m. As the officer followed him, Alexander opened the driver’s side door while the car was still moving and fled on foot.

The officer chased Alexander and tackled him in a field, court papers stated.

Alexander had been driving Funich’s Chrysler LeBaron. He had bloodstains on his clothes, and he had Funich’s wallet. In the LeBaron, police found Funich’s cellphone and two laptop computers, court papers said.

Alexander, who attended Ivy Tech this past spring, told police he was alone with Funich from about 6:45 p.m. Aug. 9 until between 2 and 3 a.m. Aug. 10. He said he had been smoking crack cocaine with Funich all night and left to buy synthetic marijuana, according to court papers.

He told police Funich was fine when he left the home.

Alexander is charged with robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, two counts of murder and two misdemeanors: resisting law enforcement and operating a vehicle while intoxicated. He was being held without bail.

aingersoll@jg.net

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