Investigators: Cellphone found in lake may yield key evidence in Indiana woman's death



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SULLIVAN, Indiana — Authorities believe a cellphone recovered from a southwestern Indiana lake may yield key evidence in the strangulation death of a pregnant Sullivan woman.

An Indiana State Police diver discovered the cellphone Thursday afternoon less than two miles where 20-year-old Tiffanie Adams and her unborn baby were found in a cornfield on Dec. 30, Sullivan County Sheriff Clark Cottom said.

Investigators believe it is Adams' cellphone. Authorities received information indicating the cellphone would be in the lake, state police Sgt. Joe Watts told the Terre Haute Tribune-Star (http://bit.ly/1fKYCwH ).

Adams' stepbrother, Johnus Orr, faces two counts of murder.

Adams was last seen in Sullivan on Nov. 5 leaving her father's house on foot and heading to her mother's house less than a block away. She was nearly eight months pregnant when she died.

The newspaper has reported that records indicated Adams used her cellphone multiple times on Nov. 5 to call her stepfather, who told police he didn't understand what was being said. During the final call, he said it sounded like the cellphone "got snatched out of her hand."

Cottom said investigators believe Adams' killer used the cellphone before the slaying.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Orr's wife told police she received text messages from her husband that day but did not recognize the phone number.

The cellphone has been sent to the Indiana State Police laboratory for extensive forensic examination, Cottom said. Investigators will be looking for fingerprints and information preserved inside the cellphone's memory chip. Watts said the forensic examination should be complete within 30 days.

Police said after Adams disappeared that she had been wanted on theft-related arrest warrants in Greene and Hendricks counties and misdemeanor charges in Sullivan County.


Information from: Tribune-Star, http://www.tribstar.com

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