CROWN POINT | What killed a Lake Central teen in August is still unclear, and with his divorced parents at odds, a Lake County magistrate issued a Solomon-like ruling Thursday.
The parents of 17-year-old Levi Evans Jr. differ as to whether to cremate or bury the boy's body, which was found lifeless on Lake Central school property near a power substation.
The boy's mother, Karen Evans, has prepaid for cremation services while the boy's father, Levi Evans Sr., wants to bury the boy to preserve any evidence in the event of a wrongful death suit.
Karen Evans was seeking to have her former husband removed as the boy's representative in the probate case, but on Thursday the court rejected her petition.
Lake Magistrate Donald Stepanovich told the woman's Merrillville attorney, Brian Smith, he could not by law remove the boy's father since he had not done anything improper since being appointed to represent the boy.
On the other hand, Stepanovich said he was reluctant to disallow the boy's mother any power over the boy's remains when she was the decision-maker when the boy was alive.
Stepanovich questioned why the father wanted the boy buried.
The father's Dyer attorney, Andrew Crosmer, told the court in the event of a wrongful death, all evidence would be lost should the boy be cremated.
Crosmer said no final reports from the coroner's office would be released until toxicology reports were returned by the state crime lab, which is weeks away.
Stepanovich ruled the boy's body to be in the custody of his mother, who cannot take any action for 10 days during which time the father will determine whether to pursue an independent medical examination of the body.
Stepanovich also ordered the father to obtain a maximum $25,000 bond to insure he can follow through on the financial burdens he may be undertaking in his search for answers to what happened to the boy.