BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — Police say they solved the murder of a Battle Creek woman more than 30 years later, after an old blood sample connected a man to the fatal stabbing. No charges will be filed because Roger Plato was killed in 1988, three days before Gayle Barrus’ body was found in Calhoun County. Barrus’ family is relieved that authorities believe the case has been solved. Barrus had been sexually assaulted and stabbed. Police tested a recently discovered blood sample that was taken from a suspect after he was killed in 1988. Plato’s blood matched DNA found on the victim.
Robert P. Crowell, age 76 of Batesville, died Saturday, November 11, 2017 at Margaret Mary Health. Born February 7, 1941 in Chicago, Illinois, he is the son of Ruth (Nee: Steele) and Cecil Crowell. He married Linda Pactwa August 3, 1963 at St. Paul’s Church in Hammond, Indiana. Bob taught Industrial Arts and Drafting for 33 years before retiring. His first two years were at Sunman and his last 31 in Batesville. He enjoyed working with young people. He started the Coonhunters Junior Conservation Club, worked on many projects with students through the Rural Alliance for the Arts, coached the high school track and cross country teams for 10 years and had a program similar to Junior Achievement in which his students would create a business, manufacture a product and sell it to the public.Other interests included being a member of the Tri-County Harmonizers Barbara Shop Quartet, a former member of the Coonhunters small bore rifle team and re-furbishing and re-finishing antiques with Linda. They also owned and operated the Safari Camp Ground for 16 years. Bob collect gas memorabilia and loved to collect and restore antique steam and gas engine tractors. A member of the Pioneer Engineers Club of Rushville, he had articles published in 23 magazines on the subject.Another love of Bob’s was cars. Over the years he owned several collectable cars and was a member of the Corvair Club of Indianapolis, the Corvair Club of Cincinnati, Vintage T-Bird Club of Indianapolis, the Ford Model T Club of America, the Ford Model T Club of Indianapolis, and the Hoosier Hills Car Club.Bob is survived by his wife Linda; daughter Patricia Crowell-Gentles of Lambertville, New Jersey; brother James Crowell of Valparaiso, Indiana as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents. Visitation is Wednesday, November 15th, from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Weigel Funeral Home. Funeral services are 10 a.m. Thursday, November 16th, at the Batesville United Methodist Church with Rev. Chris Renick and Rev. Charles Flory officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family requests memorials to Safe Passage.