Chesterton Tribune


Man serving time in Chesterton case charged with murder of woman in Gary

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A registered sex offender currently doing time for trying to lure a Chesterton girl into running away with him has been charged with the murder of a young woman whose remains were found buried in Gary in 2010.

Jonnathon A. Fuller, 38, formerly of Michigan City, was charged this week with the murder of Sylvia Marie Jones, who went missing in 2009.

Fuller was also charged with abuse of a corpse and with altering a death scene.

Fuller was sentenced in July to three years in the Indiana Department of Correction after pleading guilty to an amended charge of neglect of a dependent, after Chesterton Police said that he was caught in the act, in January 2011, of trying to help a 15-year-old local girl run away from her home.

When taken into custody at that time, Fuller was found in possession of Jones’ debit card and unsuccessful attempts to locate Jones by the CPD prompted a missing person’s investigation, according to the probable cause affidavit filed by Det. Richard Strong of the Indiana State Police.

CPD Det. Lt. Dave Adkins and Det. James Copollo subsequently spoke with Jones’ mother, a New Albany, Ind., resident, who advised that she hadn’t heard from her daughter in almost two years. But the last time Jones spoke to her mother, she did say that “she was living in Michigan City” with a man named John and “hooking,” Strong stated in his affidavit.

A records check later showed that, on Oct. 13, 2009, Jones was admitted to LaPorte Hospital after a suicide attempt and that Fuller had been with her when admitted, Strong stated. “The hospital record indicated that Jonnathon Fuller had power of attorney over Sylvia Marie Jones. The hospital records also indicated that Sylvia Marie Jones had a ‘cognitive (deficit),’ ‘mild retardation,’ and ‘bi-polar disorder.’”

Then, on Aug. 30, 2010, a man hunting snakes and lizards in the Dunes in the 8800 block of U.S. Highway 20 in Gary found what looked like a human skull, Strong stated. That grave site was excavated and, along with the skull and some bones, a pair of blue jeans and a coat were recovered. A little more than a year later, a University of Indianapolis forensic anthropologist positively identified the skull as Jones’, while a DNA test confirmed that identification, Strong stated.

Meanwhile, one month before the skull was identified as Jones’, an acquaintance of Fuller’s advised investigators that Fuller had admitted to him killing Jones.

The acquaintance’s account, as Strong detailed it in his affidavit: Fuller told him that he’d killed Jones with an ax, that he’d first lured her to a beach in the Gary area by telling her that they were going “to dig up some money he had buried,” that he had her dig the hole herself, and that he then used a “sledge hammer/ax” and bludgeoned Jones seven times. Fuller also told the acquaintance that he next “flattened Jones’ face,” then “cut off her hands to make it more difficult to identify her by fingerprints,” and finally buried Jones in the hole which she had dug.

“Fuller commented to (his acquaintance) that he thought it was funny that he tricked (Jones) into ‘digging her own grave,’” Strong stated.

Investigators also spoke to Fuller’s ex-wife, who advised that Jones had lived with her and Fuller for two months in the fall of 2009 and that Fuller told his wife at the time that he was taking Jones’ “Social Security money.” But Jones was “having problems with the Internet and talking to strangers” and that is why Fuller “got rid of her,” his ex-wife told investigators.

Finally, Jones’ mother advised that, when she told Fuller she was going to call the police and report her daughter as a missing person, Fuller had threatened her.

“You ain’t going to never see your daughter or talk to her again,” she remembered Fuller saying. “If I had to I’ll come get you too. I’ll do you like I did her.”



Posted 9/28/2012