PORTAGE | A mowing crew working along Interstate 94 on Tuesday discovered the body of a missing LaPorte man.
Ricky L. Kimble, 50, was pronounced dead at 2:19 p.m. by the Porter County coroner's office, according to Chief Deputy Coroner Robert Byrd.
Byrd said the body was found by mowing contractors for the Indiana Department of Transportation on the south side of the road — along the eastbound lanes — in the area of the 18-mile marker. Indiana State Police said in a news release the worker was mowing the grassy area when he spotted the body.
LaPorte County Sheriff's police Major John Boyd said in an email Wednesday morning that Kimble had been reported missing at about 2:25 p.m. Monday by his ex-girlfriend who was concerned that she had not heard from him or seen him since 1 a.m. Saturday when she spoke to Kimble on the telephone.
The woman told police Kimble was at his cousin's home in Blue Island, Ill., and was headed to work. Kimble was a truck driver, according to Boyd, adding the truck he had been assigned to was parked in South Bend.
An autopsy to determine the cause of death had originally been planned for Wednesday at South Bend Memorial Hospital in Mishawaka.
Byrd said the autopsy location was later changed because of the state of decomposition of Kimble's body. His body was moved to the Lake County Coroner's office in Crown Point. The autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Ann Wojas, spokeswoman for Indiana State Police, said it was too early to determine if foul play was involved in the death.
Byrd said state police detectives and evidence technicians were on scene Tuesday afternoon investigating.
Police said he could have been walking along I-80/94. Kimble was wearing brown shorts, a white tank top, tan boots and was carrying a black backpack. He was 6 feet and 1 inch tall, weighed 258 pounds and had a shaved head.
Anyone with information about Kimble's whereabouts between Saturday to Tuesday is asked to call State Police Detective Brian Kubiak at (219) 696-6242 or LaPorte County Sheriff's Office Detective Ron Heeg at (219) 326-7700.