Portage police look for help in solving past homicides

2013-10-16T12:40:00Z 2013-10-17T00:09:06Z Portage police look for help in solving past homicidesJoyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | Police here are hoping something jogs the memory of the public to help solve three homicides dating back to August 2006.

"It is something I've been thinking about, wanting to get them resolved," said Police Chief Troy Williams Wednesday. "Somebody out there knows something about them."

The department issued a press release Wednesday outlining three unsolved homicide cases, asking for the public for help.

"Even the smallest detail might turn the case," said Williams. "We'd like to see all of them solved for closure for the families."

The body of Bradley Bothwell was found in late August of 2006 in a tent in a weedy area behind Walgreens on U.S. 6 and Willowcreek Road. The homeless man, who, according to his family, worked odd jobs and panhandled his way across the country, was killed by a blow to his head.

Bothwell, 47, was usually seen panhandling on a regular basis outside the Portage Walmart before his death.

Jeremiah Higgins was shot to death inside his Canden Avenue apartment on Friday, May 15, 2009, when an unidentified female knocked on his door and asked for someone named Tommy. A man then pushed inside the apartment, asking for Tommy and looking for money.

When Higgins intervened, he was shot.

The male suspect is described as being a dark-skinned black male in his late teens or early 20s with an athletic build and 6-foot to 6-foot, 3-inches tale. He had no visible tattoos, scars or facial hair. His hair was cut short.

The woman was described as medium-skinned, possibly Hispanic, in her early to mid-20s, 5-foot 5-inches to 5-foot 7-inches tall with long black hair.

The final homicide is that of Wilson Rivera, 38, of Indianapolis, on Dec. 10, 2012. Rivera, who had also lived in Gary, died of a gunshot wound to his neck.

The incident occurred about 5:30 p.m. that Monday. His body was found outside of a car which was was parked just north of the railroad tracks in the 2100 block of Crisman Road. Rivera had been seen the day before in the Woodland Village mobile home park.

A caller to 911 told dispatchers a person was running east along the railroad tracks in the wooded are just after the gunshot was heard.

Anyone with any information in the unsolved cases is asked to call Detective Capt. Joe Reynolds at (219) 764-5704. All callers can remain anonymous. They may also call the WeTip Hotline number at 1-800-78-CRIME. Calls are anonymous.

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About Portage

City Hall
6070 W. Central Ave. Portage, IN 46368
(219) 762-5425

Police Department
2693 Irving Street Portage, IN 46368
(219) 762-3122

Fire Department
3401 Swanson Rd Portage, IN 46368
(219) 762-7404

Portage Township Schools Administration Center
6240 U.S. Highway 6 Portage, IN 46368
(219) 762-6511

Porter County Public Library
2665 Irving Street Portage, IN 46368
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