Statement as issued Monday by the Indiana State Police:
(Fort Wayne, IN)-Cold Case investigators with the Indiana State Police are seeking the public’s assistance in trying to solve a murder case that occurred nearly 40 years ago in either Kosciusko or Noble County.
According to Detective Kevin Smith, then 17 year old Laurel Jean Mitchell was last seen leaving work at Epworth Forrest in North Webster at approximately 10:15 p.m. on August 6, 1975. She was found dead the next day in the Elkhart River in rural Noble County.
The public’s help is needed with identifying a group of young people who may have performed as a singing group at the Cokesbury Inn inside Epworth Forrest that night. The group of four or five girls and boys are believed to be from the Delphi, Indiana area and told witnesses they sang at the Cokesbury Inn that night. The members were approximately 16-22 years old at the time and travelled in one vehicle and it’s believed that they stopped at the North Webster fire station at around 10:30 p.m. that evening.
Smith said that there is still a reward for information that leads to the solving of this case. Anyone with information which identifies the singing group or their members, or on the Laurel Jean Mitchell case itself, is asked to contact Detective Smith at 260-403-2841 or at 260-432-8661.