Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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February 15, 2013

Plea filed in year-old missing person case

Travis Funke could face 35 years in prison

Kokomo — A second plea bargain was filed Friday in the case against a man who has admitted to killing his girlfriend in 2011.

Though Travis Funke told police he killed 27-year-old Kelly Armstrong in the trailer they shared at 2501 Apperson Way North, police have never found her body.

Howard County Prosecutor Mark McCann filed the plea in hopes of resolving the case.

According to the agreement, Funke would plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter and receive a 50-year sentence, with 35 years in prison and 15 years suspended, to be served on probation after his release.

As a condition of the plea, which still must be approved by Howard Superior Court 2 Judge Brant Parry, Funke is required to cooperate with police and give a full statement as to the whereabouts of Armstrong’s body and the facts surrounding her disappearance.

No date has been set for the plea.

The first plea was similar to the recent agreement, but called for prosecutors to recommend the 2-year-old son of Funke and Armstrong be placed with Funke’s family. Armstrong’s family strongly opposed that plea due to the custody stipulation.

The most recent plea does not address the child’s custody.

Armstrong was reported missing Sept. 26, 2011, by family members. They told police she had not been heard from since the middle of July.

McCann charged Funke with voluntary manslaughter Feb. 21, 2012, after Kokomo police said Funke admitted to killing Armstrong July 8, 2011.

Funke said he wrapped her body in a tarp and put it in a trash container. Detectives learned the trash had been picked up from the area July 8 and taken to a landfill in Wabash County.

Police searched the landfill for six days but didn’t find Armstrong’s body.

When questioned, Funke denied any involvement. Police say they later arrested him on charges he violated his in-home detention out of Marshall County.

Then in October, investigators were contacted by jail staff after an inmate said Funke admitted to killing Armstrong, according to court records. Funke said he believes Armstrong hit him in the head with a hammer and knocked him out after an argument. When he came to, he said he found Armstrong dead on the floor and bleeding from her head.

He also told police he has memories of hitting her in the head, but thought it was a dream, court documents say.

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