Monday, October 20, 2014

Darren Deon Vann, Charged With Afikka Hardy's Murder, 6 Homicide Charges Pending

Vann led police to six female bodies after the discovery of a 19-year-old female body at a Motel 6 in Indiana.

By H. Nelson Goodson
October 20, 2014

Hammond, Indiana - On Monday, Darren Deon Vann, 43, of Gary, Indiana was charged with Friday's homicide of Afrikka Hardy, 19, at a Hammond Motel 6, in the 3800 block of 179th Street. Hardy is Black and White, according to her Facebook posting. She died from strangulation, the Lake County Coroner's Office confirmed. 
Last Saturday afternoon, police detained Vann for questioning in the strangulation death of Hardy. Hardy allegedly was a prostitute who met Vann at the motel. Vann used the Chicagobackpage dot com to contact Hardy for sex, according to police.
Police say, Hardy's female friend got weird text messages from Vann, then she and a male friend decided to check up on Hardy at the motel. They found Hardy's body at the motel. Police later located Vann by his text messages and cell phone.
Vann told police that he was surprised that Hammond police were quick to find him after Hardy's body was found at the motel.
While being questioned, Vann confessed to police of other homicides involving women dating back to 1994. Vann led police to three bodies in Gary, identified as Anith Jones, 35, of Merrillville, Indiana, Teaira Batey, 28, and Christine Williams, 36, both of Gary, Indiana.
According to police, another unidentified three female bodies were found, but have not been identified by the Lake County Coroner's Office. Six of the victims were found in Gary.
Vann, originally from Austin, Texas is a registered sex offender for a 2009 Travis County conviction who later moved to Indiana a decade ago. He register as a sex offender in Indiana in June 2013. 
Vann has admitted of committing additional homicides in Hammond between 1994 and 1995,  according to police.  The homicide investigation is ongoing and additional murder charges are pending. Police have not verified, if he is a serial killer.
Some of Batey's family members are expected to attend Vann's court hearings to seek justice.

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