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October 23, 2019

FBI Arrest Merrillville Man for 1988 Murder and Rape of Gary Woman

Sixth Cold Case Solved by Gang Response Investigative Team in Last Year

MERRILLVILLE—Tyrone Andrew McKee, 56, Merrillville, Indiana, was charged in Lake County Superior Court October 22, 2019, with one count of murder, one count of murder while committing or attempting to commit rape, and one count of rape for the 1988 murder of 23-year-old Colleen Callahan. The young woman’s body was found November 9, 1988, in an abandoned house in Gary.

The charges against McKee are the culmination of work by the FBI Gang Response Investigative Team (GRIT) who began re-investigating the case in 2018.

“With the advances in technology, especially DNA, increased resources and once reluctant witnesses now willing to come forward to provide information years later, cases that once did not have enough evidence to charge now become cases that can be prosecuted,” said Detective Sergeant Nicholas Wardrip, Hobart Police Department, GRIT Task Force Officer.

This is the sixth cold case GRIT has re-investigated and charged a suspect(s) since 2018:

  • Summer 2018—Walter Rondo, Daidreon Sparks, Jimmie Caldwell, and Dontrall Phillips were charged in Lake County Superior Court with murder and murder in the perpetration of robbery in connection with the 2015 homicide of Donald Fazell in Gary.
  • October 2018—Jeremiah Farmer was indicted in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana in connection with the June 1999 double murder of Marion Lowry and Harvey Siegers inside a Hammond business. This was the fifth superseding indictment of Latin King members, including Farmer, accused of conspiring to commit racketeering activity and distribute marijuana, cocaine, and Xanax. In July 2019, Farmer was convicted of all counts and currently is awaiting sentencing.
  • December 2018—Ernest Cook and Cory Wilson were charged in Lake County Superior Court with murder in connection with the May 2011 homicide of Lawrence Wesby in Gary.
  • January 2019—Paul Fontaine was charged with murder in Lake County Superior Court in connection with the March 2011 disappearance of his mother, Dr. Promilia Mehta-Paul of Munster. Mehta-Paul’s body has never been located.
  • March 2019—Joel Williams was charged with rape in Lake County Superior Court in connection with a March 1984 home invasion and rape in the 1900 block of East 39th Avenue in Hobart.

“We are actively investigating a number of other cold cases and hope to bring several of them to resolution in the near future,” Wardrip said.

GRIT investigators are asking anyone with information on a cold case to call 219.942.4899.