Police ask for help in solving stripper’s murder


(Indiana’s NewsCenter) — A stripper’s body mysteriously turned up in a remote lake 13 months ago, and Noble County police still don’t know how it got there, or why. It’s a cold case homicide with an unsettling twist.

On the record, authorities say all indications point to the fact 36-year old Erin Justin was placed in Bartley Lake last summer, that it was no accident.

Sources say the body had been weighted down by cinder blocks in an apparent attempt to conceal the death.

A fisherman and his 12-year old grandson, who were riding in a boat, made the grisly discovery at night.

The Noble County prosecutor says several people who knew Justin have cooperated in the investigation, but that the trail to finding the killer or killers remains cold.

Detectives released to us a set of new photographs of the victim, who also went by the name “Taya”, in hopes someone might recognize one of the very different images.

Her background as a stripper has not made it any easier for detectives.

” That has been part of what the investigators have looked at, is people she may have associated with in that environment, and people who knew her through that as well,” said Prosecutor Steve Clouse.

“ The evidence is substantial that she had help getting there, and that she did not go of her own free will to the lake.”

Erin Justin was originally from Jackson Michigan, but had lived in Fort Wayne for some time.

Several of her friends held an impromptu memorial service for the woman on the lake’s shoreline last July, sharing special memories and throwing flower bouquets into the water as a tribute.

Clouse understands their frustration that the case isn’t solved.

If someone knows something about the case, they can call the Noble County Sheriff’s Department at 260-636-2182, or phone Crimestoppers at 800-237-STOP and leave an anonymous tip.