PORTAGE — Eleven years later and little is known about how a homeless Omaha, Nebraska, man wound up dead in Northwest Indiana, where he reportedly knew no one.
Bradley Bothwell was discovered by landscaping workers Aug. 29, 2006, bludgeoned to death near the Walgreen's at 5995 U.S. 6 in Portage.
Portage Police Detective Capt. Joseph Reynolds said Bothwell had been there for "a couple of weeks, at least" — his body partially decomposed, and head and chest fully skeletonized.
The 47-year-old arrived in town two weeks prior to his death, police reports show, setting up camp behind a local Walgreens in an overgrown area just out of view of passing cars.
Reynolds said police have had little to go on since first opening up the death investigation, with no suspects or known motives. Bothwell was transient and had no known associates in town, he said.
"Someone has to know something about this case," Reynolds said.
What's interesting about this case is how Bothwell had gone to the trouble to not be found, but someone learned where he was hiding out, Reynolds said.
"He wanted to be by himself. He was tucked away back in the field. Nobody could see him back there, and yet someone came upon him and murdered him," he said.
Police suspect Bothwell may have been sleeping in his tent, purchased recently at a local store, when he was attacked.
His attacker ripped the tent screen and struck Bothwell in the head more than six times with "what appears to be a hammer," according to a police report.
"It could be that he knew his killer but we just don’t know," Reynolds said.
Bothwell's wallet was still at the scene, but $400 cash that witnesses say he had on him in the week prior was reportedly missing, Reynolds said.
Anyone with information about this case should call Reynolds at 219-764-5704. Callers can remain anonymous.