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Third Hostage Was Hiding During Standoff At Valparaiso Insurance Office

Police surround the scene of a hostage standoff in Valparaiso. (CBS)

Police surround the scene of a hostage standoff in Valparaiso. (CBS)

roberts250 Bob Roberts
Bob Roberts is a native of Wilmette who has worked in Chicago media...
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VALPARAISO, Ind. (CBS) — Indiana State Police say there was a third hostage in the Valparaiso real estate office in which a Texas man took his own life, following a seven-hour standoff with police Friday.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports, state police Sgt. Kim Fields said that the woman hid in the same general vicinity where Roy Ferguson, 48, held two others hostage, and managed to keep herself hidden even when speaking with hostage negotiators over her cell phone.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports


Fields said he was not clear on how the woman managed to be freed, but said she left at the same approximate time as the male hostage.

Fields said investigators have determined that Ferguson had a minor abdominal wound from a police bullet prior to the time that SWAT team officers entered the office, which allegedly prompted Ferguson to shoot himself twice in the head.

The Porter County Medical Examiner’s office conducted an autopsy Tuesday on Ferguson. That autopsy is complete, but Fields said no determination has been made as to the cause.

The incident occurred this past Friday at a Prudential Sydney Real Estate office at 2612 N. Calumet Ave.

Standoff victim Carolyn Biesen says the suspect asked an office manager around 10 a.m. if he could speak to a man knew who worked here, and that’s when the trouble began.

“She said, ‘He’s not here.’ And I just heard the guy say, ‘I’m not leaving until he gets here. Call him.’”

The suspect pulled a gun and Biesen locked herself in her office.

“I felt like I was being a rock underneath the desk,” Biesen said Friday evening while relaxing with family. “You know, underneath staying calm. And then I got a text from my son saying, ‘I love you mom and worrying.’ That’s when you know.”

Ferguson was said to be upset over financial dealings with an employee of the real estate office, and believed he was owed $13,000.

Fields said the investigation continues, but said there is no reason to believe any criminal charges will be filed in connection with the case.