CHESTERTON — The homicide case surrounding the disappearance of a Valparaiso nurse in 1999 was explored in a true crime series featuring a Region law enforcement leader who investigated the murder more than two decades ago.
Ogden Dunes Town Marshal Jim Reeder made an appearance in the Discovery series "Murder in the Heartland," according to a news release from Kevin Nevers, Chesterton spokesman. The episode, "Serial Killer in the Making," zeroes in on the murder of Lorraine Kirkley, 34, and the now convicted killer, David Malinski.
Reeder worked on the case while he was a sergeant for the Porter County Sheriff's Department.
It began as a missing persons case after Kirkley's husband arrived at their Valparaiso home on July 21, 1999 to find his wife and her vehicle missing. However, he found a bloody knife in the sink, according to archived articles from The Times.
Days later, Kirkley's burnt-out emerald green 1994 Ford Explorer was found abandoned in a cornfield.
Kirkley was a registered nurse at Porter Memorial Hospital and her murderer, Malinski, worked at the same hospital as a physical therapist. Malinski lived with his wife in Chesterton, however, police theorized that he had a fixation with Kirkley, according to court reports.
Malinski initially denied killing Kirkley but confessed six years later. He also confessed to police that he buried her on his father's property in LaPorte while he was serving his 155-year prison term at Indiana State Prison in Michigan City for his convictions of abduction, murder and torture.
Her body was exhumed and dental records confirmed her identity. The autopsy also showed that Kirkley was strangled and fought with her attacker.
The Times reported about 400 people attended her funeral when she was laid to rest at the Fulton Baptist Temple in Fulton, Indiana.
The 11th episode of "Murder in the Heartland" premiered on Tuesday on the Investigation Discovery channel and is streamable on Amazon Prime Video or Discovery Plus.
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