UPADTED 06/17/11 11:17 a.m.
HOBART, Ind. (CBS) — A Michigan man is being returned to his home state to face murder charges, after his girlfriend’s body was found in a suitcase in a pond near Hobart, Ind.
As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports, Gregory Noack, 44, appeared in Lake County, Ind., Superior Court in Crown Point, Ind., Friday morning. He showed little emotion as he waived extradition to Michigan to face murder charges there.
He is charged with killing girlfriend Dawn Marie Fital, 45, whose body was found at the bottom of the pond behind a Toys ‘R’ Us store earlier this week. She had been duct taped before being stuffed in the suitcase.
Sources say Noack attempted to take his own life while being held at the Lake County Jail, and is on suicide watch.
Noack was arrested Tuesday in Merrillville, when employees of a bank looked out the window to see him digging a hole in the woods, the Detroit Free Press reported.
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Lake County investigators said they were led by Noack himself to the site where Fital’s body was found.
Michigan detectives believe Noack murdered Fital in Pittsfield Township, Mich., just south of Ann Arbor, where they shared an apartment with Fital’s ex-husband.
Detectives believe Noack then drove down Interstates 94 and 65 the way to Hobart, Ind., and dumped the suitcase in the pond, the Free Press reported.
It is not clear why he drove to Northwest Indiana, since he said in court Friday he knows no one in the area.
Neighbors say Fital was a championship pool player, and a loving mother and grandmother.
“Grown up kids living with her, but also grandkids – she was always out playing with them and so yeah, a very nice woman,” said former neighbor Jon Bartholomay.
Fital had reportedly won a few hundred dollars this month at a Las Vegas billiards competition, and she had posted on her Facebook page: “I know I am a pool playing bum, but that’s how I roll.”
In addition to living together, Fital, Noack and Fital’s ex-husband all worked together at a Wal-Mart in Pittsfield Township, Mich., the Free Press reported.
An autopsy on Fital is scheduled for Saturday morning. It was not immediately known when Michigan authorities would arrive to bring Noack back to their state.