INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana authorities investigating the death of a homeless man whose decomposing body was found in a freezer say he had been drinking, taking drugs and having sex with another man now accused in his death.
The body of 29-year-old Alex Shipp was found Sunday in the basement of a home in Kokomo, about 50 miles north of Indianapolis. The resident, Walter Logan, 52, was being held without bond on a preliminary charge of murder Tuesday in the Howard County Jail.
Logan was scheduled for an initial court appearance Wednesday. He did not have an attorney.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Logan told police that he and Shipp developed a sexual relationship after meeting about two years ago.
He said he and Shipp had sex one night about four weeks before Shipp's body was found. He said the two had been drinking and taking drugs and that Shipp became belligerent and wanted to fight. Logan said he bound Shipp's hands and feet and placed tape over his nose and mouth and fell asleep.
He told police that when he awoke, he thought Shipp was dead but removed the tape and went back to sleep. When he awoke again, he said, he was certain Shipp was dead, but he waited about six hours before hauling his body to the basement.
Logan told police he removed the shelving from the freezer and stuffed Shipp's body inside the freezer, which was not plugged in, the affidavit states.
Worried that she hadn't heard from him since early November, Shipp's mother reported him missing Saturday. She had posted flyers that produced a tip that Logan and Shipp had been seen together at Logan's home. Police went to question him.
Logan told police he'd been expecting them, the court documents say. Investigators noticed a strong stench and asked Logan if Shipp was there. He led them to the basement freezer, which had been laid flat on the floor with a concrete block holding the door shut.
Investigators don't know whether Logan had intended to kill Shipp, Detective Michael Banush said Tuesday.
"We don't always get those answers," Banush said. But "it's just common sense if you duct tape someone's mouth and nose and then go to sleep" that they're likely to die.
Logan told police he tried to kill himself by ingesting pills and wrote a suicide note, but he fell asleep before he could finish it.
Logan served about three years in prison on a drug-dealing conviction, according to Indiana Department of Correction records.