EPD: ‘Aleah’s Death is a Death to the Community’ (w/VIDEO)


By: Jordan Vandenberge

BECKERLEEvansville (WEHT/WTVW) – In a somber but determined tone Wednesday afternoon, Evansville Police Department officials vowed to bring those responsible for the death of Aleah Beckerle to justice. Acting on a tip, detectives found Beckerle’s remains Monday evening at a blighted, empty home in the 1600-block of South Bedford Avenue. The would-be 20 year old woman with special needs has been missing since mid-July.

At Wednesday’s press conference, investigators said the Beckerle case is being treated as a criminal investigation. Capt. Andy Chandler stopped short of classifying the inquiry as a homicide investigation because the coroner has not determined the official cause of death.

Capt. Chandler said detectives received a tip into their office, prompting them to search the blighted home on South Bedford. It’s unclear how long the body lay there, Capt. Chandler said.

Citing an open investigation, police would not release the identify of the person who came forward with the tip or what exactly the tip entailed.

Beckerle went missing from her East Iowa street home in mid-July. Since her disappearance, there have been dozens of organized search efforts. The Evansville Police Department, FBI and other law enforcement groups have combed over more than 150 different locations including blighted homes, lakes, creeks, a landfill and other sparsely populated areas.

The discovery of Beckerle’s remains is the culmination of countless investigatory hours and sleepless nights, said lead Detective Brent Melton.

“I have to start off by saying in my 20 plus years of being on the department, this is probably for sure one of the toughest and most extensive cases that I’ve ever been involved with. Aleah Beckerle is a name that will never leave me,” Det. Melton said. “Today I stand here and I just want to express my gratitude and thanks that we have found her, and it’s brought some closure because, she will never leave my mind. Now that we’ve found her, I can say that we’re going to move on to the next stage. And I’m not going to stop. I’m going to continue to work as hard as I possibly can to find the person or persons responsible for her death.”

Detectives were back out at the home on South Beford late Wednesday afternoon serving a search warrant. Crime scene technicians and detectives could be seen going in and out of the house. Capt. Chandler said the Beckerle’s remains could also yield some forensic evidence.

Detectives likened the discovery of Beckerle’s body to a ‘new beginning’ in the investigation.

“As long as we know that there is someone out there that is responsible for this, we want to ensure that justice is served,” Capt. Chandler said. “Her death is a death to the whole community. We want to make sure that we go after those that did this and hold them responsible.”

Capt. Chandler also told reporters that the department has had no calls for service to the house where the woman’s body was found. Additionally, because the house was titled and deeded, the home was not considered a ‘vacant’ home by the EPD’s metrics.


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