Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 3, 2012

Police find body in unplugged freezer

Walter Logan charged in death of Alex Shipp

By Scott Smith
Tribune staff writer

Kokomo — When Walter Logan opened the door to Kokomo police investigators, he didn’t appear surprised to see them.

“I’ve been waiting for you,” are the words detectives said Logan, charged Monday with the murder of Kokomo resident Alex Shipp, offered in greeting.

In the basement of Logan’s home on East Elm Street, police said they found the decomposed body of Shipp, 29, inside an unplugged freezer.

Logan, 51, told police he killed Shipp after he became belligerent and wanted to fight, according to court documents filed Monday.

Shipp’s mother, Rebecca Wolf, went to police Saturday to file a missing person report on her son, who she said she hadn’t seen since Nov. 8, when she dropped him off at an east side convenience store.

Police said it’s possible that’s the date Shipp died. Wolf told police her son hadn’t posted on Facebook since the 8th, and hadn’t contacted her.

Logan told police he and Shipp had been acquaintances for about two years. He said Shipp came over to his house at 804 E. Elm St. about four weeks ago, and told police he and Shipp began drinking, using drugs and eventually had sex.

“After having sex, Logan stated that Alex became belligerent and wanted to fight with him. Logan stated that he used duct tape to bind Alex’s hands and feet and also placed duct tape over his nose and mouth,” police said in the court affidavit.

According to court records, Shipp was about 5 feet, 4 inches, 105 pounds. Logan was about 6 feet tall, 120 pounds.

Logan told police he went to sleep, and when he woke the next morning, he thought Alex was dead. He said he removed the duct tape from Shipp’s nose and mouth and laid Shipp on a bed, and went back to sleep again.

The next time he awoke, Logan checked on Shipp again, and this time, Logan told police, he knew Alex was dead. Logan said he saw blood around Shipp’s head on the bed.

Logan said he laid a standing freezer down on the basement floor, took out all the shelves from the freezer, put Shipp’s body inside and closed the door. Police said the odor from the body permeated the house.

KPD Detective Michael Banush said police were tipped off to Logan’s house by the same person who had contacted Shipp’s mother on Sunday, the same day police located Shipp’s body.

Banush said the family had been out over the weekend putting up missing person fliers around Kokomo, and said Wolf received three calls in a 90-minute period Sunday afternoon, from an individual claiming to have information.

Police eventually managed to contact the individual, after getting subscription information from Sprint, and the man said Logan had admitted to killing Shipp.

Police said they then went immediately to Logan’s home, where they were greeted at the door.

Howard County Coroner Jay Price said Monday an autopsy confirmed the body as Shipp’s. Monday evening, police said the coroner ruled asphyxiation as the cause of death.

Logan is being held at the Howard County jail without bail.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information can call the Kokomo Police Hotline at 765-456-7017 or Detective Michael Banush at 765-456-7278, or Central Indian Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS.

Scott Smith can be reached at 765-271-6065 or at scott.smith@kokomotribune.com