Lawsuit settled in police search that left girl traumatized

(WISH Photo, file)

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — Two central Indiana communities have settled a federal lawsuit that alleged police violated the constitutional rights of a girl with autism during a search for a missing woman’s body.

Gina Bosworth sued the city of Muncie and the town of Albany last year, alleging her 15-year-old daughter was traumatized by the August 2014 raid at the family’s Muncie home. The suit said her daughter “has the mental capacity of an eight-year-old” and “was extremely scared and upset” by the raid.

During the police search for the body of Brianna DiBattiste, one officer pointed his gun directly at the teen’s head and she was separated from her mother and questioned by officers, the suit alleged.

“They weren’t physically hurt, but it was extremely emotionally upsetting,” Bosworth’s attorney, Richard Waples, said about his client and her daughter.

A federal judge approved the parties’ settlement in May and the case has since been dismissed.

Waples told The Star Press that under that settlement, the city of Muncie paid Bosworth $50,000 and the town of Albany paid her $35,000.

Albany Police Chief Shannon Henry and Muncie Police Chief Steve Stewart declined to comment on the settlement.

The police search of Bosworth’s home for DiBattiste’s body did not yield any clues in that case.

DiBattiste, a 25-year-old from Dunkirk, disappeared in June 2014. Her partial remains were found three months later in rural Jay County. That county’s coroner said her cause of death could not be determined because of the condition of her remains.

Authorities said her missing body parts were likely taken by animals.

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