Police: Remains found in Ind. man's yard
NEW ALBANY, Ind. (AP) -- Authorities said they have dug up human remains in the backyard of a southern Indiana man who is suspected of killing two women a decade apart.
Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson said police found the remains of what they believe is a third victim late Friday night at the New Albany home of 54-year-old William "Clyde" Gibson III, a convicted sex offender.
Henderson told The Courier-Journal that the remains may have been there for weeks or months. Police did not say if they had identified the remains or whether they were male or female.
Henderson said the remains appear to belong to "at least one individual," but wouldn't speculate on the possibility of additional victims.
"The fact is it is a serious matter," Henderson told the News and Tribune of Jeffersonville. "We do have three individuals at this point." Henderson didn't reply to a phone message left at his office Saturday. An attempt to reach him at home was unsuccessful.
Gibson is being held without bond at the Floyd County Jail in connection with the deaths of Christine Whitis, 75, of Clarksville, who was found strangled in Gibson's home last week, and Karen Hodella, 44, a hairdresser from Florida whose body was found near the Ohio River in Clarksville in January 2003.
Gibson was arrested on drunken-driving charges last week after police spotted him driving Whitis' car.
An officer at the jail said Saturday that there was no record of any formal charges against Gibson. He also said he didn't know if Gibson had a lawyer.
The discovery of the remains came hours after officials called off a search of the Ohio River, where they had been looking for Stephanie Marie Kirk, a 35-year-old Charlestown woman who was last seen March 25 when she left a friend's New Albany home to meet a man at a bar.
New Albany police Maj. Keith Whitlow had said that they were searching the river as a result of information developed in the Gibson case. Whitlow did not return repeated phone calls from The Associated Press.
Gibson carries a lengthy criminal record.
The Courier-Journal reported he was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to robbery and sexual abuse in a 1991 attack on a woman at a mall in downtown Louisville. Court records show he fondled her and stole her purse after pushing her into a phone booth, and later he said he had been drinking and using cocaine. Court records show he had arrests for assault, wanton endangerment and driving drunk.
In 1992, Gibson told a psychologist that "it's hard to predict what I might do," when he drinks heavily, records said. But in 1999, a psychologist found Gibson was at "low risk" for being arrested again as a sex offender.
This week, prosecutors also charged Gibson with being a habitual offender, listing convictions on 10 charges in eight cases between 1992 and 2007.
The Courier-Journal reported Gibson was discharged from the Army for bad conduct in 1979 and had spent a year in the military prison at Leavenworth, Kan.
Court records also describe Gibson as a well-liked, "extremely shy" person who didn't know how to respond when introduced to people. They said he had borderline intelligence and was emotionally immature, The Courier-Journal said.
Michelle Rucker, Hodella's oldest daughter, said Friday that her mother had been in Indiana visiting her boyfriend's family for less than a day when she called her family in Florida and asked for money for a bus ride home. She told her family that a "nice man" was buying her drinks at a bar, Rucker said.
"We never heard from her again," Rucker said. "She was in Indiana one night and was missing the next day."
Rucker said the latest developments had reopened old wounds.
"My family is a train wreck," she said.