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News :: Vinton man jailed for '98 murder in Indiana; authorities say he has confessed
· 11:02am January 24th, 2014
“Let’s see if social media can help us find a killer,” wrote a member of the Vigo County (Indiana) Sheriff’s Office on that department’s Facebook page on Jan. 16.
A week later, 15 years and four months after the murder of 19-year-old Erika Case in Terra Haute, Ind., that search for a killer led Indiana authorities back to Vinton and the arrest of a local resident who was a teenager in Terra Haute when the murder took place.
Clinton Bryan Mackey, 33, of Vinton, appeared in Benton County District Court on Thursday Jan. 23, where he waived extradition to Indiana on a charge connected with a stabbing death in West Terre Haute Indiana on Sept. 6, 1998.
Benton County Detective Jerry Michael, according to court records, said that although Mackey denied killing Case during an Nov. 13 interview, Mackey changed his story during a second interview on Tuesday, Jan. 21, and "confessed to being the person who committed the murder." Mackey has also been charged with interference with official acts, as a result of that November statement, which he later contradicted.
Mackey's only other charge on record in the Iowa court system is a speeding ticket issued on Sept. 5, 2012, the same date in 1998 that Erika Case was last seen alive, in the company of Mackey and another teenager.
A cold case unit in Indiana had re-opened the Erika Case murder probe earlier in 2013. Social media and cable television indeed contributed to officers' investigation of the cold case.
Mackey was arrested on the Indiana warrant Wednesday morning after turning himself in at the Benton County Sheriff’s Office late Tuesday afternoon. He was transported back to Vigo County Indiana Thursday and appeared in Vigo County Court Friday morning. Trial has been set for July 14; the court appointed a public defender to represent Mackay.
Mackey had been a person of interest in the homicide from the beginning in 1998. The Benton County Sheriff’s Office and Vinton Police Department had assisted Vigo County authorities in locating and re-interviewing Mackey back in November of 2013 in a cold case investigation.
At the time of the homicide, Mackey was 18 years old. Erika Case, then 19, was found stabbed to death in a house where she had been house-sitting for a family friend; she had been stabbed at least 33 times. Mackey and another West Terre Haute teenager were known to be at the house with Case on the night she died.
Produces of the TNT Network's “Cold Justice” previously had been scheduled to feature the Case homicide next month. See that case's TNT page HERE.
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