INDIANAPOLIS — For decades, the identity of an elusive character dubbed the “Days Inn” and “I-65” killer eluded police as investigators attempted to solve the murders of three women in the ‘Indiana and Kentucky in the late 1980s.
On Tuesday, law enforcement officials said they had solved the case.
Indiana State Police, along with several federal and local agencies, said investigators have determined that the now deceased Harry Edward Greenwell was responsible for the rapes and murders of Vicki Heath, Margaret ” Peggy” Gill and Jeanne Gilbert.
Investigators also linked him through further DNA analysis to a 1990 sexual assault of a woman in Columbus, Indiana.
Greenwell died in 2013 at age 68.
The young women worked as clerks at motels along the I-65 corridor.
‘I-65 KILLER’: What we know about the suspect and the victims
Police said on Tuesday there was a “strong possibility” that Greenwell was linked to a number of other unsolved murders, rapes, robberies and assaults. sergeant. Indiana State Police’s Glen Fifield said investigators are continuing to investigate whether he was linked to other violent crimes in the Midwest.
The identification of the man puts an end to an investigation which lasted 35 years. The search for the killer began in 1987 when Heath was found assaulted and shot behind a Super 8 motel in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.
In 1989, two other women fell victim to the killer. Gill, a 24-year-old night auditor at a Days Inn in Merrillville, was sexually assaulted and killed in the early morning hours of March 3.
An eerily similar attack occurred at another Days Inn dozens of miles away the same night. Gilbert, a part-time auditor for the Remington Motel, was also attacked and assaulted. A motorist saw her body on the side of the road in White County. Police say the two women were shot with the same .22 caliber handgun.
Kentucky State Police in 2010 said DNA found in Heath’s murder was linked to the deaths of Gill and Gilbert. DNA has also linked the same assailant behind a 1990 sexual assault against a Days Inn employee in Columbus, Indiana. In this case, the clerk fled.