Police are currently seeking individuals they believe to be involved in a homicide and kidnapping incident in the 700 block of South Courtland Avenue Monday night.
According to a Kokomo Police Department press release, officers responded to the residence on a report of shots fired and located the body of Lashay R. Young-Beard, 25, Kokomo, in a fenced-in backyard of the residence.
Young-Beard had suffered an apparent gunshot wound, police said.
While on a search of the property, the release indicated police also located a 24-year-old Kokomo man in a bathtub, and he was bound with duct tape and binding on his wrist and ankles.
The man told police he had been confined in the residence for 11 days, where he had been battered and burned with hot water, the release noted. He is currently in stable condition, and police are withholding his identity at this time.
According to KPD Capt. Tonda Cockrell, the man told officers that Young-Beard and he knew each other and knew the individuals who allegedly were involved in the incident, but police are not releasing those identities at this time.
Cockrell also did not state whether Young-Beard had been held at the residence as well or why she was at the residence Monday evening.
Police are asking any residents in the area who have home surveillance cameras to check footage throughout the last two weeks and report anything they believe to be suspicious to KPD immediately.
If you have any additional information in this case, contact the KPD Hotline at 765-456-7017.
Monday’s homicide rocked the nerves of some residents along that stretch of Courtland Avenue, especially for those who have lived in that area for several years who said they’ve seen incidents get worse over time.
“I’ve lived here for 14 years, and it’s never been this bad,” neighbor Corbin Trueblood said as he sat on his porch Monday evening.
Trueblood said he was sitting in his living room around the time of Monday’s incident and didn’t hear any gunshots but went outside when he noticed lights from the police cars out front.
Once a quieter part of town, Trueblood acknowledged he’s noticed a big difference in the last couple of years.
“This place has gone to hell,” he said. “But it’s all over the city, too.”
Monday’s incident marked the city’s second homicide of 2020 for Kokomo and the third in as many months.
On Jan. 2, James Gray Jr., 16, was pronounced dead of an apparent gunshot wound at St. Vincent Kokomo, and authorities arrested 18-year-old Cahokia, Illinois resident Jeremiah Neal in connection with the death.
Neal is currently being held without bond and facing preliminary charges of murder, a Level 1 felony, and robbery, a Level 2 felony. He has a status of counsel hearing on Thursday in Howard Superior Court 4.
Police have also arrested a 15-year-old Kokomo male they also believe played a role in the incident, and he is currently being held at the Kinsey Youth Center on a Level 2 felony preliminary charge of robbery.
And then last December, police were dispatched to the Lincolnwood Apartment complex, where they located the body of 15-year-old Dalton Wayne Fisher, who had died from an apparent gunshot wound.
Investigation into that incident led to the arrest of three teenagers, two of whom were just 14 years of age.
According to a Kokomo Police Department media release, one 14-year-old is facing a Level 2 preliminary felony charge of conspiracy to commit robbery resulting in serious bodily injury. The other 14-year-old is facing a preliminary charge of attempted robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, also a Level 2 felony.
Police have also arrested a 17-year-old male in connection with the incident, and he is facing a preliminary charge of attempted robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, a Level 2 felony, the release indicated.
In addition to their arrests, 22-year-old Kyli Fisher — Dalton’s sister — also was arrested shortly after the incident on charges of neglect of a dependent, a Level 3 felony, possession of a handgun without a permit, a misdemeanor, and dealing a controlled substance, a misdemeanor.
The identities of the teenagers police believe to be involved in the deaths of Gray Jr. and Dalton Wayne Fisher have not been released due to their age, and it’s also unclear at this point whether the prosecutor’s office will attempt to move any of those teenagers into adult court.