LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Kentuckiana had its share of violent crimes in 2013.
As the year comes to an end, some of the top stories we covered still pose many questions, with few answers.
First, a lurid discovery in a Louisville spa sent shock waves through the community. A several month-long undercover operation busted a city-wide prostitution ring using at least two underage girls. “I’m shocked,” one neighbor said. “I had no idea that was going on there.”
Police arrested three people and charged them with human trafficking and promoting prostitution.
In February, authorities raided the office of Harrison County doctor Paul Kelty. Prosecutors allege he supplied patients with controlled substances. They say since 2008, six of his patients who had been receiving prescriptions from Kelty fatally overdosed. He was also accused of sexual battery, fraud and theft. His trial is set for March 2014.
A disturbing discovery in a department store in August, a newborn baby found dead in the garbage in a Kohls bathroom. The mother was nowhere to be found. Former Kohls employee, 29-year-old Jessica Price was later arrested. She told police she thought she miscarried the baby. Police, however, believe the baby was born alive. She’s facing charges of murder, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with physical evidence.
Four people were gunned down in a home in Waynesville, Indiana on May 11th. But, the suspected killer wasn’t charged until December. Prosecutors say Samuel Sallee shot and killed Katheryn Burton, Thomas Smith, Aaron Cross, and Shawn Burton. Investigators believe the shooting may have been drug related.
A little girl and her mother were killed by the mother’s ex-boyfriend at an apartment complex on Gardiner Lane in Louisville. Gary Stewart also shot his own mother in the attack, though she survived, and then turned the gun on himself. It came to light that Stewart may have had a long history of mental illness, though family members never thought he was capable of such violence.
Just last month, tragedy struck in Meade County. Ellen Cain and her 13-year-old son Tucker Wimpee were killed by Cain’s fiancé Warren Tripp. Tucker was Cain’s son with Meade County Sheriff’s Deputy Phillip Wimpee. “I asked Tucker, ‘Why don’t you just stay with me until your mother and this man get their problems worked out?’ Tucker’s exact words are, ‘You don’t understand, I need to be with my mom,’” Wimpee explained after the shooting. Tucker’s family plans on helping kids stuck in harm’s way in his name, “One Tucker at a time.”
An elderly Harrison County couple was found savagely beaten and stabbed to death in their home in August. Police believe two 18-year-olds, Austin Scott and Kevin Schuler, killed Gary Henderson and Senie Arnold after attempting to rob their home.
Henderson worked at Huber’s Farm in Starlight, Indiana for many years. He and Senie are memorialized in stone at the farm, remembered always for their kindness.
Schuler and Scott pleaded not guilty to the crime. They are scheduled to be back in court in January. They could face the death penalty.
A shooting in Danville left two children without parents. Owners of ABC Gold, Games, and More Mike and Angela Hockensmith were shot to death in the shop with their kids in the next room. Customer Daniel Smith was also killed.
Police eventually arrested Pastor Kenneth Allen Keith, a former owner of the Hockensmith’s shop for the murders. Keith has been denied bond and remains in jail though he maintains his innocence.
Lastly, a crushing story of a Bardstown Police officer shot and killed in what appears to be a set up.
Officer Jason Ellis was headed home from work on May 25th. He stopped to clear debris from an exit ramp on the Bluegrass Parkway when he was ambushed. Ellis left behind a wife and two young boys. His killer has never been found.
There is a reward for information leading to an arrest in Officer Ellis’ murder. It’s now up to more than $200,000. If you have any information on this case, call Kentucky State Police at 1-800-222-5555.