48-Year Cold Case Solved: Indianapolis Police Identify Thomas Edward Williams as Suspect in Abduction and Assault of Kandice Smith, Sheri Rottler Trick, and Kathie Rottler

Cold Case Solved: Three Girls Abducted and Assaulted 48 Years Ago

In a breakthrough development, detectives from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) have finally solved a disturbing cold case dating back 48 years. The case involved the abduction and assault of three young girls in Indianapolis.

The incident took place on August 19, 1975, when Kandice Smith, 13, Sheri Rottler Trick, 11, and Kathie Rottler, 14, were leaving a gas station on Washington Street near Belmar Avenue. Seeking a ride, the girls decided to hitchhike, and a white male driving a station wagon stopped and offered them a lift.

However, as the girls were in the vehicle, they soon realized that the man had veered off their intended route. Despite their attempts to escape, they were unable to do so. Eventually, the man stopped near a cornfield in Greenfield.

According to the IMPD, the suspect forced the girls out of the vehicle and proceeded to bind two of them. He then sexually assaulted one of the girls and stabbed her. Disturbingly, he also stabbed the other two girls multiple times. Miraculously, all three victims survived the horrifying attack.

The suspect fled the scene, leaving the girls stranded in the cornfield. Two of them eventually managed to make their way back to the highway and received assistance from a passing driver. Despite efforts by several law enforcement agencies, including the Indiana State Police, the investigation ultimately went cold, and no suspect was ever charged.

However, in 2018, an IMPD sergeant reopened the case and had evidence and DNA analyzed. In a groundbreaking development, the Indianapolis-Marion County Forensic Services Agency linked the evidence to a possible suspect in 2021. Subsequently, in 2023, DNA Labs International in Florida completed a genetic genealogy, ultimately identifying the suspect as Thomas Edward Williams. Unfortunately, Williams had already passed away in November 1983 while in prison in Galveston, Texas.

IMPD Deputy Chief of Investigations, Kendale Adams, expressed the department’s commitment to holding criminals accountable, no matter how long it takes. He stated, “After 48 years, we can now tell these survivors who was responsible for this heinous act.”

This significant breakthrough in solving this cold case brings closure to a tragic incident that haunted the Indianapolis community for decades. The dedication and persistence of law enforcement, combined with advancements in DNA testing, have finally provided answers and justice to the victims and their families.

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