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Two men arrested in connection to 1975 Noble County cold case

Photo Supplied/Indiana State Police

NOBLE COUNTY, Ind. (WOWO): Two men were arrested Monday in connection to a 1975 Noble County cold case.

Fred Bandy, Jr., 67 of Goshen, and John Wayne Lehman, 67 of Auburn, were arrested in connection to the death of Laurel Jean Mitchell according to the Indiana State Police. Both men were taken into custody at their homes Monday morning without incident. Both are charged with one count of murder and are held without bond in the Noble County Jail. They are set to have an initial hearing Wednesday in Noble Circuit Court.

Mitchell, a 17-year-old from North Webster, left work at the Epworth Forrest Church camp on the north side of North Webster Lake in Kosciusko County on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 1975 at 10 p.m. She did not make it back home. Her parents reported her missing.

Her body was found the next day at around 10:30 a.m. in the water at the Mallard Roost public access site, about 17 miles northeast of North Webster. Mitchell’s cause of death was due to drowning, and the autopsy showed signs that she fought for her life.

Indiana State Police say a break in the case came in the last few months as their laboratory personnel were able to make an evidential correlation, leading investigators to Bandy and Lehman.

Noble County Prosecutor Jim Mowery says the investigation is still ongoing.

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