Former music teacher killed in Michigan City

2013-06-07T18:30:00Z 2013-06-09T02:39:06Z Former music teacher killed in Michigan CityStan Maddux Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
June 07, 2013 6:30 pm  • 

MICHIGAN CITY | Police on Friday were investigating the slaying of a second retired teacher in Michigan City in less than a year.

Henry Whitten was found dead Thursday at his home in the 500 block of East Eighth Street. Police were called there for a welfare check.

The cause of death and other specifics were not released because of the ongoing investigation.

"It's very sad and tragic that we've had two (retired teachers) murdered," said Earl Cunningham, president of the LaPorte County Retired Teachers Association.

According to the Michigan City School Corp., Whitten was a choral music teacher from 1971 to 2002 at Barker Middle School.

Detectives were still busy Friday afternoon working the case, Michigan City police Sgt. Chris Yagelski said.

No arrests had yet been made, he said.

Cunningham said Whitten was a truant officer at Barker Middle School for two years when they retired together in 2002.

He recalled going to a retirement dinner with Whitten, whom he continued to see occasionally through the years.

"I would consider him a close friend," Cunningham said. "He was a very good guy and helpful to many people."

Cunningham said Whitten was still in good health and continued to work, running the cash register at Crown Food Mart on Michigan Boulevard. He also was a member of the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

"He told me he liked it just because he got to see people," Cunningham said.

In November, Gerald Peters, 69, was found bludgeoned to death inside his home in the 300 block of Walker Street.

Peters was a retired high school English teacher and former officer with the Michigan City Federation of Teachers.

Trevon Walker, Ryan Phelps, Melvin Basford and Martell Anderson, who were then between the ages of 16 and 20, have all been charged in connection with Peters' slaying. Their cases are still pending.

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