Detectives remain hopeful in homicide investigation

2013-11-07T18:30:00Z 2013-11-07T23:26:13Z Detectives remain hopeful in homicide investigationChas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com
November 07, 2013 6:30 pm  • 

MERRILLVILLE | More than a dozen detectives continued following leads Thursday as the investigation of the Piatak Meats slaying reached its fourth day.

Robert Byrd, spokesman for the Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force, had no major breakthroughs to announce Thursday, but investigators remain hopeful they will obtain information needed to solve the shooting that killed Andrew Fugate Monday morning at his family's business near 61st Avenue and Broadway in Merrillville.

Fugate's body was discovered by a store manager about 7 a.m. Monday, hours after Fugate, 27, of Hobart, arrived for work to begin meat preparations, police said.

Police believe there was a burglary at Piatak, but no items were reported stolen from the business.

It's typical for the Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force to be activated to investigate a case like the homicide at Piatak.

"This case is not at all different from any other investigation," Byrd said.

Activating the task force, which consists of detectives from several area police departments, provides an opportunity for an investigation to move along faster because there are several detectives gathering information from a variety of areas at once.

Byrd said task force detectives usually return to their respective agencies "after a couple days" of investigating. At that time, the case will be turned over to the police department that activated the task force.

Police continue to seek information about the homicide at Piatak. Tips can be provided to Robert Wiley, Merrillville's chief of detectives, at (219) 769-3531.

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