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Published On: Wed, Oct 22nd, 2014

Darren Vann, charged with Afrikka Hardy murder, confesses to killing six others

A convicted sex offender who has reportedly confessed to at least seven murders in northwest Indiana has informed police his crimes date back as long as two decades.

Darren Vann, 43, from Gary, Indiana, has been charged with murdering Afrikka Hardy, 19, and may be charged with at least six other murders which were still under investigation, says Hammond Police Chief John Doughty.

 

photo/Alan Cleaver

photo/Alan Cleaver

According to Doughty, Hardy was a prostitute who met Vann on Friday at the Motel 6 in Hammond. Police said Vann responded to an ad Hardy and her “handler” placed on backpage.com, and arranged to meet Hardy Friday night.

There were suspicious text messages from the girl’s phone and the “handler” says she feared for Hardy’s safety. The handler and a male friend went to the hotel and found the girl dead. They then called the police.

Doughty said the woman who facilitated the meeting provided investigators with Vann’s phone number, and police tracked him down to Gary. When he was arrested, he confessed to killing Hardy, and told detectives he “messed up” by committing the crime in Hammond, Doughty added.

Vann later told police about six other victims, whose bodies all were found in abandoned homes in Gary. News agencies are reporting that there may be many other victims, some from other statesbut Doughty said police have not confirmed any victims beyond the seven found so far.

Doughty said Vann, who is a convicted sex offender in Texas, has been cooperative from the beginning, and told police his crimes “could go back as far as 20 years,” although the victims found so far all appear to have been killed more recently.

Vann apparently only wanted to discuss the Indiana cases because the state has the death penalty and he wants to be executed for his crimes, the sources told CBS.

Doughty would only say Vann “was looking for a type of deal with the prosecution.”

Three of the victims found in Gary have been identified: 28-year-old Teaira Batey and 36-year-old Kristine Williams, both of Gary; and 35-year-old Anith Jones, of Merrillville. The other three victims have only been described as African-American women.

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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