CROWN POINT | Darren Vann was scheduled to appear in Lake County Criminal Court Friday, but he never emerged into the courtroom.
Vann, 43, of Gary, is facing murder charges in the strangling deaths of Afrikka Hardy, 19, and Anith Jones, 35, of Merrillville. Vann allegedly confessed to killing seven women, six of the women were found dead in abandoned houses in Gary.
According to court records, Vann met Hardy through an online escort service and the two agreed to meet at the Motel 6 in Hammond. Vann told officials a mutual friend offered him money and drugs in exchange for killing Jones, according to an affidavit.
Friday's hearing was scheduled after the Lake County prosecutor's office requested DNA from a mouth swab from Vann. Lake County Criminal Judge Diane Boswell rescheduled the hearing for Dec. 19.
It was unclear Friday why the hearing was rescheduled.
Defense attorneys Michael Fech and Teresa Hollandsworth approached Lake County Criminal Judge Diane Boswell's bench twice with Lake County Prosecuting Attorney Bernard Carter and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michelle Jatkiewicz.
Fech at one point asked Boswell if they could take a short recess. While the rest of the court call continued, the attorneys for both sides spoke in a closed room in the back of the courtroom.
The only information said in open court about the hearing was that it was being rescheduled for two weeks.
A call seeking comment from Boswell was not returned Friday. The online court docket did not state why the hearing was rescheduled. It did state five search warrants filed by the prosecutor's office were granted and sealed.
This is not the first time a court hearing for Vann has been delayed.
In October, Vann's initial hearing was rescheduled after Vann refused to speak or answer any questions from Magistrate Kathleen Sullivan.
Initially when Vann was arrested after Hammond police officers found Hardy's body in a motel room, law enforcement officials said he cooperated with detectives and led them to the bodies of the six other women.
Defense attorney Gregory Zaney represented Vann in Texas while he faced charges of sexual assault. Vann pleaded guilty to a second-degree felony charge of sexual assault and was sentenced to five years in prison, according to Texas court records.
Zaney said he remembers Vann cooperating during all court proceedings in Texas.
"I didn't have any problems with him," Zaney said. "I've had worse clients."