Chesterton Tribune



Upper Deck bouncer, Christopher Dillard, charged with Nicole Gland's stabbing murder

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Christopher Mark Dillard


Updated 4:16 p.m.:



The accused slayer of Nicole Gland was employed as a bouncer at the Upper Deck and is believed to have been laying in wait for the bartender--possibly in her own vehicle, parked behind the tavern on Lois Lane--when she left work early Wednesday morning.

The accused slayer’s name: Christopher Mark Dillard.

The apparent motive: robbery.

Dillard, 50, of Hobart, was detained for questioning, with the assistance of the Hobart Police Department, on Wednesday evening at an unspecified location in Hobart.

He was arrested by the Chesterton Police Department at 12:38 p.m. Thursday and booked into the Porter County Jail at 2:16 p.m. on charges of murder and robbery.

Gland’s body was found in her silver Ford SUV at 9:10 a.m. Wednesday by a Chesterton Tribune employee arriving at work. She was slumped over in the front seat of her vehicle, which had come to rest against a dumpster and an old sofa located behind the Tribune building on Lois Lane.

The findings of a forensic autopsy conducted early Thursday morning, according to Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris: Gland bled to death after being stabbed 24 times in the torso, neck, and head.

The break in the case came only hours after Gland’s body was found, CPD Chief Dave Cincoski said, when Dillard’s live-in girlfriend, learning of the murder, found a knife missing from the butcher block and contacted authorities.

Investigators--including detectives from multiple law enforcement agencies seconded to the Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force--subsequently learned this: Dillard was not on duty at the Upper Deck on the night Gland was working but did visit the tavern at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, at which time he had contact with Gland, Cincoski said. He then left the Upper Deck and is reported to have been drinking at another Chesterton tavern.

After that, Cincoski said, Dillard has been unable to account for his movements and whereabouts in the early morning hours of Wednesday, as he’d been “bingeing” on cocaine, possibly also marijuana, and was in a “self-reported drug haze,” confirmed by his girlfriend. Investigators have determined, however, that at 7 a.m. Wednesday--still two hours before Gland’s body was discovered--Dillard was at an unspecified casino in Gary, Cincoski said. Investigators are pursing that lead with the assistance of the Indiana Gaming Commission.

On closing the Upper Deck for the night, around 3 a.m. Wednesday, Gland exited the building by the back door and got into her SUV. At this point, Cincoski said, investigators are unable to say with certainty whether her attacker was already in the SUV--parked on Lois Lane in a striped parking space--or whether he surprised Gland outside of it, but they do believe he was waiting for Gland, to rob her.

The attack “occurred when the vehicle was in Drive,” Cincoski said, either as Gland was pulling out of the space to go home or as she was attempting to flee her attacker. “The vehicle was moved from its original location,” and eventually came to rest against the dumpster and sofa behind the Tribune building.

Missing from Gland’s vehicle: “personal effects and other property” which Cincoski declined to specify.

Investigators are currently working to locate those items as well as the murder weapon, Cincoski said.

Dillard--who occasionally worked as a scrapper, Cincoski said--has no violent criminal history.

Cincoski emphasized that the investigation is still ongoing, as detectives seek to back-trace Dillard’s movements late on Tuesday and throughout the day on Wednesday, as they seek too to recover Gland’s personal effects, the murder weapon, and other evidence, and to locate and interview anyone with knowledge of Dillard’s movements. Late this morning, members of the Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force were once again walking the scene behind the Tribune building.

Anyone with information on Dillard’s activities in the hours before or after the discovery of Gland’s body is urged to contact the CPD at (219) 926-1136.

Cincoski did express his gratitude to the Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force for what he called its “invaluable and continuing” assistance during the course of the investigation.

Evidence already collected includes Gland’s vehicle, two dumpsters from Lois Lane, and the Tribune’s 95-gallon roll-away trash bin.


Posted 4/21/2017




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