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Ind. Softball Coach Charged With Murder In 1972 Death Of Illinois Baby

Gary A. Warwick (Porter County Sheriff)

Gary A. Warwick (Porter County Sheriff)

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(STMW) — A northwest Indiana softball coach has been charged with murder in the death of a child nearly 41 years ago in Illinois.

Gary Allyn Warwick, 62, was arrested without incident Thursday at a Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Portage, according to the U.S. Marshals Great Lakes Fugitive Task Force.

Warwick was charged in a criminal complaint with murder in the death of Joseph Henry Abernathy III. The baby was found Dec. 30, 1972 and bond is set at $5 million, the Post-Tribune is reporting.

Warwick is an assistant softball coach at Purdue University North Central in Westville, Ind., and is full-time coach for the Indiana Raiders girls travel softball program, according to a Purdue North Central website. He is a married father of two adult daughters and has three grandchildren.

In April 1973, Warwick was initially indicted in the case. Trial was set, but Warwick’s attorney sought a delay, citing his client’s medical problems. The case was then dismissed without explanation through an order issued in September 1974.

A cold-case investigation was launched by St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly and Watson after receiving petitions from an online campaign and being made aware of a YouTube video created by the child’s family.

If convicted, Warwick would face at least 14 years in prison, with a maximum sentence of up to 300 years, according to 1973 sentencing guidelines.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)