The Times' Cold Case series

The Times' cold case series examines unsolved homicides throughout Northwest Indiana and south suburban Illinois. We want to remind our readers of the crimes that remain unsolved. We want to tell victims' stories. We want to see these cases solved.

"Homicide detectives don't solve crimes. It's the public that solves the crimes. We just put all the pieces together."

South Suburban law enforcement agencies

Local law enforcement agencies for south suburban Chicago.

Lake County law enforcement agencies

Local law enforcement agencies for Lake County Indiana.

Porter/LaPorte County law enforcement agencies

Local law enforcement agencies for Porter and LaPorte Counties, Indiana.

JAY GIVEN: Case cold nearly 30 years later

JAY GIVEN: Case cold nearly 30 years later

Almost 30 years later, investigators say a club worker, or some unknown witness, still could be the key to closing the cold, politically charged case of Jay Given's slaying.

HENRY LOPEZ: Books still not closed on one of Lake County's most notorious killings

HENRY LOPEZ: Books still not closed on one of Lake County's most notorious killings

HAMMOND | Hammond detectives have no doubts about who fired the fatal bullet into the back of Henry "Babe" Lopez's neck in 1979.

MICKEY BANNING: Lawyer's 1988 slaying remains a mystery

MICKEY BANNING: Lawyer's 1988 slaying remains a mystery

HAMMOND | In the stack of 8-by-10-inch glossy color photos of Mickey Banning, 43, dead on his office floor on Calumet Avenue in Hammond in 1988, there is one picture that illustrates the frustrating mystery of the unusual daylight murder of a lawyer on one of Northwest Indiana's busiest roads.

GILL, GILBERT: 'Days Inn murders' remain unsolved

Working at separate roadside motels in 1989, Mary Margaret Gill and Jeanne Marie Gilbert were slain on the same cold March night.

LISA KOPANAKIS: Hopes fades in slaying of IUN student

LISA KOPANAKIS: Hopes fades in slaying of IUN student

PORTAGE | On Easter day in 1989, someone entered Lisa Handlon Kopanakis' apartment in Portage, slaughtered her two dogs and threw rugs on top of them.

RONALD COOK: Gary man lives on in family

It has pained some of Ronald Cook's loved ones to look at his only son.

JONATHAN CASTANEDA: E.C. family mourns loss of sibling, father

JONATHAN CASTANEDA: E.C. family mourns loss of sibling, father

EAST CHICAGO | The closest Jonathan "Jon Jon" Castaneda came to meeting one of his daughters was her picture tucked in his casket. Another daughter was born about seven months after the 21-year-old's violent death.

CAPOSEY, BIRD: 20 years and no answers in Cal City murders

CALUMET CITY | More than 20 years have passed since Calumet City resident Toni Lynn Caposey and her boyfriend, Jacob Bird, were murdered, and no one has been charged with the crimes.

LOUIE MICIC: Family hopeful killer will be found

LOUIE MICIC: Family hopeful killer will be found

Dozens of photos, marking happy family occasions, are prominently displayed throughout the neat-as-a-pin Winfield home of Bosko Micic. The 81-year-old breaks down and cries when he talks about his son's still unsolved Aug. 27, 2002, murder.

SUZETTE PETERSON: Murder vexes two generations of cops

CROWN POINT | What becomes of those criminal cases in which police reach the point of making an arrest but the prosecuting attorneys are unable to convince a jury to grant a conviction?

JAMES E. HUGHES: Former top cop: Man bled to death for no reason

CEDAR LAKE | Charles Kouder believes the night James E. Hughes died 15 years ago could have ended differently.

CAROLINA MERCADO: Parents still haunted by daughter's 2003 homicide

Asleep in an upstairs bedroom, Raquel Mercado, then 18, bolted out of bed when a phone call pierced the night.

DEBBIE DEARING: Murder in 1980 fading with time

DEBBIE DEARING: Murder in 1980 fading with time

GARY | Not much keeps Debbie Dearing's homicide from being fully forgotten 29 years after she was shot in the back of the head while she worked at the Clark gas station at Ridge Road and Martin Luther King Drive in the Glen Park neighborhood.

ALMA MENDEZ: Family offers $10K reward for info in woman's murder

ALMA MENDEZ: Family offers $10K reward for info in woman's murder

Next month will mark the two-year anniversary of the death of Alma Mendez, a Chicago Heights mother of three who was murdered in 2007, and her grieving family is still waiting for answers.

DEBRA FULTON: Police hope to find leads in 1981 Halloween killing

DEBRA FULTON: Police hope to find leads in 1981 Halloween killing

HAMMOND | She walked off into the night Halloween 1981 and never returned home. But she has never left her mother's thoughts.

CHRISTINA BECK: 1992 murder shook family

CHRISTINA BECK: 1992 murder shook family

GARY | Suebrina Beck shakes when she gets nervous.

SUSAN SCIACCA: Hegewisch family seeks closure in woman's murder

SUSAN SCIACCA: Hegewisch family seeks closure in woman's murder

CHICAGO | Susan Sciacca was married with three children. She also was a barmaid at a neighborhood tavern in Chicago's Hegewisch neighborhood, and she lived in the lone mobile home park contained within the city limits.

WEBER FAMILY: Mike Weber's life unraveled in the 15 years since his wife and four children perished in a Hebron arson fire

WEBER FAMILY: Mike Weber's life unraveled in the 15 years since his wife and four children perished in a Hebron arson fire

HEBRON | As if losing his wife and four children in a mobile home arson fire 15 years ago in Hebron wasn't bad enough, Mike Weber also had to deal with accusations he was the one who torched and killed them.

TINA WILKERSON: 1995 killing still unsolved

TINA WILKERSON: 1995 killing still unsolved

LAKE STATION | On Aug. 15, 1995, Tina Wilkerson's mother approached Four Winds Park about 6 a.m., the quiet hour disturbed by roaming police.

BRUHL, BLOUGH, MILLER: Dunes disappearance remains unsolved 43 years later

Three young women, two still in their teens, vanished from a crowded Indiana beach on a hot July Fourth weekend 43 years ago.

SAMUEL AVILES: E.C. family waiting for answers

SAMUEL AVILES: E.C. family waiting for answers

EAST CHICAGO | Samuel Aviles' anguish poured onto the street where his brother was fatally shot.

JOE BOVA: Truck explosion, murder remains a mystery

JOE BOVA: Truck explosion, murder remains a mystery

Sharon Bova was in the kitchen of her home on Massachusetts Street in Merrillville the morning of Sept. 13, 1989, when her husband, Joe, keyed his truck's ignition and a blast rattled the house.

JAMES COOLEY: Investigators on trail for clues in 24-year-old homicide

James A. Cooley's wife arrived home 24 years ago to find her husband lying dead on the floor, a hammer by his side and blood spattered everywhere.

DAVID MORRISON: Disappearance of shop owner still a mystery

Vinyl records always sound the best when played on a sophisticated audio system, and David Morrison sold only high-end equipment at his Munster electronics store.

PEGGY HINKLE: Daughter renews call to reopen brutal rape and murder case

PEGGY HINKLE: Daughter renews call to reopen brutal rape and murder case

Peggy Hinkle's last moments were violent, but she met them courageously, her youngest daughter said.

MEE WHA: Munster cop seeks answers in '91 slaying

MEE WHA: Munster cop seeks answers in '91 slaying

MUNSTER | On a busy afternoon in the Calumet Shopping Center on April 26, 1991, police say someone entered a dry cleaning business planning to rob it.

LAVERNE ISEMONGER: 11 years later, police seek suspect in Crown Point woman's death

LaVerne Isemonger's violent death in 1998 shocked residents of the Gentle Manor mobile home park where the 70-year old woman lived in the first and only home she'd ever owned.

RAYNA RISON: No killer brought to justice in '93 killing

LaPORTE | Ben Rison hasn't given up hope that one day his telephone will ring with news that an arrest has been made in the 1993 murder of his teenage daughter.

BILL LENZ: Factory worker, though troubled, remembered as kind

BILL LENZ: Factory worker, though troubled, remembered as kind

Retired Cedar Lake Police Chief Chuck Kouder Sr. liked Bill Lenz, a skinny blond factory worker who chose friends unwisely and subjected himself to occasional arrests in 28 unfortunate years in his hometown.

JAIME GRAY: Mother wants killer arrested to save other families from grief

JAIME GRAY: Mother wants killer arrested to save other families from grief

Deni Weber wants her daughter's killer to be caught, just not for the usual reasons. Weber doesn't think an arrest would change her family, and she isn't interested in revenge.

Cold Case: Jamie Gray

Cold Case: Jamie Gray

Deni Weber, mother of Jamie Gray, talks about her daughter's murder and unsolved case.

NASEEB MOHAMMED: Restaurant owner's case mysterious to family

NASEEB MOHAMMED: Restaurant owner's case mysterious to family

MERRILLVILLE | Local law enforcement and FBI officials prayed for peace with area Muslims one Friday night at a Merrillville mosque to mark the impending fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

DIANE SHERMAN YOUNG: After 21 years, father continues to pursue answers in daughter's death

HEBRON | Twenty-one years after the remains of his 22-year-old daughter were found inside the burnt-out shell of her car, Ron Sherman still pursues the answers to her murder.

ERIC LAROI "RICKY" PUGH: Medical examiner rules Matteson man's death a homicide a decade after shooting

ERIC LAROI "RICKY" PUGH: Medical examiner rules Matteson man's death a homicide a decade after shooting

MATTESON | Ethel McCullough couldn't help but smile while watching a DVD showing pictures of her son Eric LaRoi "Ricky" Pugh in his youth.

DONNA HOGUE: Children of victim hopeful for break in investigation

DONNA HOGUE: Children of victim hopeful for break in investigation

CROWN POINT | For the first time in almost 17 years, Tina King is hopeful.

JASON JANEK, KEVIN ABUL-HUSN: Sisters of two victims won't let case fade away

JASON JANEK, KEVIN ABUL-HUSN: Sisters of two victims won't let case fade away

The sisters of Jason Janek and Kevin Abul-Husn have formed an informal but effective public relations organization in the five years since their brothers were found wrapped in plastic in the back of Janek's truck in an East Chicago alley.

RAYMOND CROWLEY: Clues few in 1983 Munster homicide

Two Munster police officers were feet away from catching a person who may have had information about a 1983 homicide hours after it happened.

KAREN SNIDER: A mother stolen doesn't break family's spirit

KAREN SNIDER: A mother stolen doesn't break family's spirit

At 2-1/2 months old, someone took away Paula Larson's mother while she laid in her crib at home.

BRENDA KAYE BANASKI: Teen's disappearance, death shook Miller neighborhood

BRENDA KAYE BANASKI: Teen's disappearance, death shook Miller neighborhood

GARY | It was a walk she was used to taking many days in the summer of 1973.

Cold Case - Brenda Banaski

Cold Case - Brenda Banaski

Brenda Banaski was 14 when she went missing during a walk to school in the Miller section of Gary. Her body was found in woods not far from home. Her family and best friend recall the case.

ALEXANDRA ANAYA: Mother hopeful for justice in killing, dismemberment of Hammond girl

ALEXANDRA ANAYA: Mother hopeful for justice in killing, dismemberment of Hammond girl

Retired Hammond police Lt. Ron Johnson can't forget Alexandra Anaya's homicide, but who could forget this?

FBI reiterates $20,000 reward in Veloz cold case

Elizabeth Veloz remains missing, and the FBI is offering $20,000 for information that leads to her disappearance's resolution.

JOY DORSEY: Police still don't know why woman was killed

JOY DORSEY: Police still don't know why woman was killed

PORTAGE | Detective Capt. Terry Swickard would like to know how someone who was seen alive and well leaving an East Chicago nightclub was found dead on a Portage roadway five hours later.

ALEXANDER MARTINEZ: Police concede errors made in 11-year-old homicide

EAST CHICAGO | Eleven years ago, East Chicago police let a group of witnesses to a fatal shooting go to a club rather than be questioned about what they saw, a witness to the crime said.

BRADLEY BOTHWELL: Slaying of homeless man remains a mystery

BRADLEY BOTHWELL: Slaying of homeless man remains a mystery

PORTAGE | Bradley Bothwell wasn't just a homeless guy who panhandled for money outside Wal-Mart in Portage each day.

SHEILA CLEMENTS SULLIVAN: Acquittal leaves open wound for mother of pregnant woman slain in garden center

Eleven jurors thought beyond a reasonable doubt in 1981 that Britt Sullivan murdered his wife on Nov. 6, 1980.

JOE SOTIROS: Niece of slain record store owner seeks closure

JOE SOTIROS: Niece of slain record store owner seeks closure

"Hegewisch Lisa" Sotiros smiles when she hears people around the region reminiscing about visits to Hegewisch Records and Tapes stores in the 1970s and 1980s.

ROWE, DAVIS, STONE: Cops seek answers in arson deaths

HAMMOND | Norma Wright got up early, for a Saturday, and heard her brother's children crying from across the street when she let the dogs out just before dawn.

ELIZABETH VELOZ: 17 years later, family won't accept loss

ELIZABETH VELOZ: 17 years later, family won't accept loss

Many times in 17 years, the mother and sisters of Elizabeth Veloz have chased young women with dark curly hair.

Cold Case - Elizabeth Veloz

Cold Case - Elizabeth Veloz

Elizabeth Veloz went missing in 1992 after she was last seen at a bar on Chicago's Southeast Side. For more read the story at: http://nwitimes.com/blogs/coldcase/?p=120

LARRY NIEZGODA: Mother searches for answers in '05 arson homicide

LARRY NIEZGODA: Mother searches for answers in '05 arson homicide

When she talks about the arson homicide that killed her son in 2005 in Highland, Cindy Niezgoda swings from incandescent anger to sadness, from a promise of vengeance to a plea for help. Then she slides into guilt.

LOWRY, SIEGERS: Hammond mechanics' slayings remain a mystery

LOWRY, SIEGERS: Hammond mechanics' slayings remain a mystery

Janie Lowry still doesn't understand how her husband ended up a homicide victim.

Cold Case - Janie Lowry

Cold Case - Janie Lowry

Janie Lowry talks about the death of her husband Marion Lowry. The case is still unsolved.

ESSIE MITCHELL: Unsolved slaying rocks neighborhood

ESSIE MITCHELL: Unsolved slaying rocks neighborhood

GARY | Chenora Hayes calls out the names of the families that have always lived in the 2300 block of Monroe Street - Franklin, Johnson, Moore - throwing her arm in the direction of each homestead as she recites the block roll call.

OLADAPO FOWOWE: Calumet City man shot in vehicle in 2004

CALUMET CITY | The circumstances of Oladapo Fowowe's death remain inexplicable to his mother, Rosie Farmer-Fowowe, and police don't seem to know much more.

DAVID WAHOSKE: Police seek more evidence in killing

DAVID WAHOSKE: Police seek more evidence in killing

Editor's note: The Times' Missing Pieces series will examine one unsolved homicide every Monday from Indiana or Illinois. We want to remind our readers of the crimes that remain unsolved. We want to tell victims' stories. We want to see these cases solved. If you want to see an unsolved homi…

DOROTHY SZANY: Police seek more evidence in brutal 2006 beating

DOROTHY SZANY: Police seek more evidence in brutal 2006 beating

HAMMOND | The men who drink in the Cavalier Inn sometimes walk across Gostlin Street, cross themselves in front of the shrine to Dorothy Szany, then walk away.

Cold Case - Dorothy Szany

Cold Case - Dorothy Szany

Angela Patterson talks about the murder of her grandmother Dorothy Szany. The crime is unsolved.

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