Gary police search, to demolish abandoned homes

This undated photo provided by the Lake County Sheriff's Department shows Darren Vann. (AP Photo/Lake County Sheriff's Department)

GARY, Ind. (AP) — Gary police are combing through abandoned houses to check for bodies before the city begins bulldozing thousands of vacant buildings.

Police said Tuesday that authorities didn’t have direct information there are more victims of 43-year-old former Marine Darren Vann, who confessed to strangling one woman and has directed investigators to the bodies of six others. Several bodies were found in boarded-up homes. But police spokesman Tom Decanter says authorities want to be certain.

After the once-prosperous city fell on hard times, many residents fled and the city says it has about 10,000 abandoned structures. In some neighborhoods, some blocks contain mostly vacant homes.

The city has long had plans to bulldoze many of them. Decanter says the Vann case has led the city to expedite that process. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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