FBI Arrest Merrillville Man for 2003 Murder of Gary Man
MERRILLVILLE—Robert Alan Orosz, Jr., 57, of Merrillville, Indiana, was charged in Lake County Superior Court on July 16, 2020, with one count of murder for the 2003 murder of 48-year-old Kevin Pratchett. Pratchett was found with his throat slashed inside his home at 2521 Wright Street in the Black Oak neighborhood of Gary by two friends around 9:20 a.m. on March 13, 2003.
The charges against Orosz are the culmination of work by the FBI Gang Response Investigative Team (GRIT) who began re-investigating the case in 2019.
“Mr. Orosz and Mr. Pratchett knew each other and the motive appears to be drug related,” said Detective Lt. Nicholas Wardrip, Hobart Police Department, who investigated this case along with Detective Frank Carrillo, Gary Police Department, both of whom are assigned to GRIT as Task Force Officers.
Orosz was arrested in Alliance, Ohio, by local police and GRIT investigators where he had been working and is currently awaiting extradition back to Lake County.
Other agencies who assisted in the investigation are the Gary Police Department, Lake County Police Department Crime Scene Unit, Indiana State Police, LaPorte County Sheriff, New Jersey State Police – Major Crime Bureau, and the Alliance, Ohio Police Department.
GRIT investigators have been re-investigating multiple cold cases over the last two years and have made several arrests:
- January 2019 – Paul Fontaine charged with murder in connection with March 2011 disappearance of his mother, Dr. Promilia Mehta-Paul of Munster. Mehta-Paul’s body has never been located.
- March 2019 – Joel Williams charged with rape in connection with March 1984 Hobart home invasion and rape.
- October 2019—Tyrone Andrew McKee, 56, Merrillville, Indiana, charged with one count of murder, one count of murder while committing or attempting to commit rape, and one count of rape for 1988 murder of 23-year-old Colleen Callahan in Gary.
- November 2019 – Desmond McQuay charged with murder in March 18, 2011 homicide of Julian Nava in Gary.
- Summer 2018 – Walter Rondo, Daidreon Sparks, Jimmie Caldwell, and Dontrall Phillips charged with murder and murder in the perpetration of robbery in connection with 2015 homicide of Donald Fazell in Gary.
- October 2018 – Jeremiah Farmer charged in connection with June 1999 double murder of Marion Lowry and Harvey Siegers at a Hammond business.
- December 2018 – Ernest Cook and Cory Wilson charged with murder in connection with May 2011 homicide of Lawrence Wesby in Gary.
GRIT investigators are asking anyone with information on a cold case to call 219.942.4899.