VALPARAISO, IND. (STMW) — The stepfather of a 22-year-old Valparaiso woman found dead in her home Feb. 21 from apparent strangulation has been arrested in connection with her murder.

Allen Warnes, 55, the stepfather of Shawnna Forgus, was arrested by the Valparaiso Police and is being held in the Porter County Jail on the charge of murder, according to Sgt. Michael Grennes, public information officer for the Valparaiso Police Department.

Formal charges will be filed Monday through the Porter County Prosecutor’s office.

Forgus was found dead in the bedroom of the home she shared with parents around 9 a.m. Tuesday. Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said Forgus suffered obvious trauma to her neck and face in an apparent homicide.

shawnna forgus 0221 Stepfather Arrested In Shawnna Forgus Slaying

Shawnna Forgus, 22, was found dead in her bed in Valparaiso on Feb. 21, 2012. (Family Photo)

According to initial autopsy results, those injuries were consistent with strangulation.

Harris said additional testing will occur before an official cause of death is determined. The testing will determine whether Forgus suffered brain hemorrhaging or was sexually assaulted. Toxicology tests also will determine whether drugs or alcohol were present. Harris said the additional testing will take two to three weeks.

Police have not released any additional information regarding the investigation or arrest.

Grennes said police continue investigating the case and ask anyone with information to contact the Valparaiso Police Department at 462-2135 or text information to 847-411 and enter the keyword “Valpo” before sending a message.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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