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MERRILLVILLE — A suspect was being questioned Thursday night after a Gary man was found fatally wounded Thursday at the Rodeway Inn.

The Lake County coroner's office identified the shooting victim as Miles Beach, 37, of Gary.

Merrillville police confirmed late Thursday that Beach had been under investigation for stealing and reselling cars in Northwest Indiana.  

Police are investigating his death as a homicide. Merrillville Police Chief Joe Petruch said detectives had a suspect in for questioning Thursday.

Petruch said he hopes charges will be secured in the next 48 hours. 

He declined to comment on the motive in Thursday's shooting. 

Police were dispatched about 1:30 p.m. to the motel at 6201 Opportunity Lane to find Beach with a gunshot wound in the parking lot, according to Merrillville police Cmdr. Jeff Rice. He was transported to the hospital, where he died from his injury.

At the time of his death, Beach was facing felony charges in Lake Criminal Court of corrupt business influence, synthetic identity deception, auto theft, theft and dealing in altered property, according to court records and Merrillville police. 

The 10-month-long investigation by the Lake County Sheriff's Department into Beach's alleged activities of stealing and selling vehicles recovered more than $50,000 in stolen vehicles, car parts and trailers. 

Beach garnered the special interest of Lake County detectives and "quickly became the primary suspect in the case" after several victims and witnesses were interviewed, police said in December. 

Beach was allegedly selling re-tagged vehicles under the alias "James Jones" on a Facebook account, police said.


Public safety reporter

Lauren covers breaking news, crime and courts for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet covering government, public policy, and the region’s heroin epidemic. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.