Man Questioned In Double Murder, Including Woman Slain At Merrillville Hospital
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Updated 07/11/14 – 11:24 a.m.
MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (CBS) – A man was in custody in northwest Indiana on Friday, after allegedly stabbing an elderly couple to death — killing the woman at a Merrillville hospital after killing the man at their home in Gary.
CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports Methodist Hospitals Southlake Campus in Merrillville was placed on lockdown early Friday morning, after a man fatally stabbed an elderly female patient around 12:30 a.m.
“The Merrillville Police Department was notified of an assault here at the hospital on one of the patients,” Merrillville Police Chief of Detectives Robert Wiley said. “They received notification that there was some sort of altercation going on in one of the rooms. Upon our officers’ arrival, the victim was being worked on by the staff; so it was within moments of the actual incident.”
Officers quickly searched the hospital and surrounding area, and also contacted police in Gary, Ind., to check the victim’s home in Gary, Ind., according to Wiley.
Gary Police Chief Wade Ingram said, when officers checked the victim’s home in the 1500 block of Hovey Street shortly after 3 a.m., they found an elderly man dead inside. Sources said the suspect had stabbed that man to death before killing the woman at the hospital.
The Lake County Coroner’s office has identified the victims as 88-year-old James Haywood and 80-year-old Margarine Haywood. Both had suffered multiple stab wounds.
Ingram said Gary police were able to track the suspect to the 3800 block of Carolina Street. Sources said the suspect, a middle-aged man, was arrested during a traffic stop at that location.
Police said they are confident the killings were not a random act.
“This isn’t just some person off the street walking into a random room and harming a patient,” Wiley said.
“We do have one person in custody who we think is responsible for those acts,” Ingram said.
Methodist Hospital officials said the lockdown was lifted around 5 a.m., after learning police had the suspect in custody.
Neighbors said the couple was polite, and their two sons – both in their 60s – often visited them at home. Harold West said there was little reason to suspect the Haywoods would meet such a violent end.
“I was heartbroken. Who kills senior citizens? Who does that? Who would want to harm them?,” West said. “Nice people; aging, elderly, nice people.”
James Haywood apparently used to work as a top security official for Gary’s public housing authority.
Police have not yet confirmed the suspect’s relationship to the victims, although they said he knew the couple.
Ingram said the suspect was being questioned at the Gary police station Friday morning. Police said charges were expected soon.