Cold cases: Lyons homicide not only unsolved investigation

State and local law enforcement have searched for years — and in some cases decades — for answers in these unsolved homicides from in and around Hancock County.

More information about other investigations from around the state can be found on the Indiana State Police Department’s website,; search “cold case investigations.”

  • Ten-year-old Jerry Michael Bayles Jr. of Indianapolis was delivering newspapers between Indianapolis and Henry County early on Oct. 3, 1970, when he was abducted and killed. His body was discovered in a roadside ditch in rural western Henry County. He’d suffered multiple stab wounds. No suspects have ever been named in the case.
  • Peggy Sue Altes, 11, was abducted from a park near her home in Indianapolis on Nov. 12, 1984. Her body was found five days later in a Sugar Creek Township field, where she’d been raped and stabbed to death. One man was charged in the case but later exonerated. Others were named as suspects, but no one has ever been convicted of her murder.
  • Michael Riley, 22, of Indianapolis, was found in a drainage ditch June 5, 1988, after he’d been strangled to death before his body was dumped over a nearby bridge. The case remains unsolved, though police speculated the death could be connected to Westfield serial killer Herb Baumeister.
  • An unknown female’s body was found by a passer-by off the side of a bridge in southern Hancock County on Oct. 18, 1994. The woman — investigators took to calling her Wilma — was wearing a Mickey Mouse T-shirt, which local investigators hoped might help identify her, but no one ever came forward to report a woman matching her description was missing.
  • Otto Gary Becker was found dead in a ditch alongside a gravel road in rural south-western Henry County on Oct. 7, 1991. Witnesses told police they saw Becker earlier that day in a vehicle with two other men, driving northbound on Interstate 465 near Shadeland Avenue in Indianapolis. One of the suspects was restraining Becker while the other drove, witnesses said. Neither suspect was ever identified.
  • Nancy Lyons, 46, of Carthage disappeared on June 17, 2002. Her car was found abandoned, with her belongings still inside. A tire was flat. A farmer discovered her body four months later in his Bartholomew County field. She suffered a fatal blow to the head. No suspects have ever been identified.
  • Dora Tolx, 73, wandered away from her daughter’s Greenfield home, late the night of June 1, 2007. She suffered from dementia, and investigators believe she might have become confused when she left the house. Police dogs tracked her scent to a spot along State Road 9, where they believe she might have received a ride from a passing motorist. No leads in the case ever surfaced.
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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or