Lowell murder suspect agrees to retun from Minn.

2013-10-22T18:15:00Z 2014-04-30T17:49:28Z Lowell murder suspect agrees to retun from Minn.By Bill Dolan bill.dolan@nwi.com, (219) 662-5328 nwitimes.com
October 22, 2013 6:15 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | A Lowell-area man suspected of killing his parents has agreed to return from Minnesota to face a robbery charge and an ongoing homicide investigation.

Thomas J. Snow, 34, of West Creek Township, waived extradition Monday, according to a Clay County District Court official. He is agreeing not to fight his return to Indiana where he is charged with robbing service station employees Thursday.

Snow also is the prime suspect in the bludgeoning and strangulation deaths of his parents, Joyce Snow, 66, and Clifford Snow, 68, whose decomposed bodies were found Friday in their home near 197th and Calumet Avenue, west of Lowell.

A source close to the investigation said Newton County is expected to bring Snow to the county jail in Kentland as soon as Minnesota authorities release him and will request a Newton County judge order him held without bail because of the pending homicide investigation in Lake.

Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter said Tuesday his office and county police are awaiting forensic test results as well as the outcome of continued evidence collection before he will consider any charges.

Clifford Snow is being remembered as a veteran educator at Morton High School, where he served for decades as shop teacher from the 1960s until his retirement in 2009.

"I knew Cliff when I was a classroom teacher and he had a long and productive history here. His subject matter was hands-on and interactive. I think he was well liked by not only his colleagues, but the students liked him, too," said Hammond Schools Superintendent Walter Watkins. 

Clifford Snow said in a 2002 interview he was proud the high school maintained one of the few remaining industrial arts programs, where hundreds of students still take shop classes that assist many to go on to technical schools and careers in the crafts.

He and his wife were discovered dead Friday afternoon. Although police have yet to determine a time of death, officers found two weeks of unread newspapers at their house. Police also are still searching for a motive for the crime.

Lake Sheriff John Buncich said Thomas Snow, who has declined to cooperate, was using his parents' car and credit card. Police were able to find him near Hawley, Minn., Saturday by tracking the suspect's credit card and cell phone activity.

Snow currently is charged in Clay County with fleeing a peace officer, driving while intoxicated and reckless driving. The Clay County attorney's office didn't return calls for comment on whether they would press those charges or defer to the Indiana cases.

Thomas Snow has 44 current and prior criminal chases in Lake County courts. Most are minor traffic offenses or thefts that were dismissed or where he pleaded guilty and served no imprisonment. He was briefly held in the sheriff's work-release center in 2006 while awaiting trial on a charge of driving while suspended.

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