Coroners seek help ID’ing 1 of 7 NW Indiana women

Darren Vann (Provided Photo)

CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — Coroners asked the public for help Tuesday in identifying one of three women whose remains were found in an abandoned Gary building that authorities were led to by a man suspected in seven deaths.

A preliminary forensic anthropology analysis suggested the woman was likely Hispanic but also might be African-American or white, the Lake County Coroner’s Office said Tuesday. The woman was likely in her thirties or forties, about 5-foot-6 and of average build. It says she had healed fractures of nose bones.

It’s not clear how the woman died, said Scott Sefton, the office’s senior investigator.

The remains were found Oct. 19 after authorities say Darren Vann, 43, of Gary, confessed to killing seven women whose remains all were found that day or the two previous days. He’s charged with strangling two of the victims and suspected in the five other deaths.

Another woman who also was found Oct. 19 at the same site has also not been identified. That woman was found wearing a “Best Aunt” bracelet and had a silver-colored ring with a heart shape and a silver-colored ring with scalloped engravings, the coroner’s office has said.

One of the two women whom Vann is charged with fatally strangling, 35-year-old Anith Jones of Merrillville, was found at the same property Oct. 18.

Vann also faces a murder charge in the strangulation death of Afrikka Hardy, 19, whose body was found Oct. 17 in a Hammond motel. A judge has entered not guilty pleas for Vann.

The coroner’s office also is still trying to identify a woman found Oct. 19 at a different address in Gary. Two other victims have been identified.

Anyone with possible information about the woman is asked to call the coroner’s office at 219-755-3265. 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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