In less than 36 hours, the three suspects linked to the Thursday morning robbery and murder of a man in downtown Seymour have been arrested.
Seymour Police Chief Bill Abbott said investigators now believe Daniel L. Combs, 32, of North Vernon shot and killed Gilbert Engle, 42, of Seymour, early Thursday morning during an incident at Engle’s second-floor apartment in the 200 block of North Chestnut Street.
Jessica L. Jarrell, 21, of North Vernon was with Combs when the shooting occurred and helped steal drugs and cash from the apartment before the two left the area in a stolen PT Cruiser, Abbott said.
Engle died of a single gunshot wound to the chest, and his death has been ruled a homicide, Jackson County Coroner Roger Wheeler said. Wheeler attended an autopsy conducted Friday morning at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Louisville, Kentucky.
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Abbott said Jarrell turned herself in at the Seymour Police Department on Friday with the help of the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department. Combs was discovered Friday afternoon at the Hamilton County Jail in Noblesville after he was arrested and booked in there on a separate drug charge from an incident in Arcadia.
The 9-millimeter gun police believe was used in Engle’s death also was found in the area of Arcadia, Abbott said.
Those two arrests followed on the heels of the arrest of Andrea M. Hollin, 25, of North Vernon on Thursday morning. Hollin faces a charge of armed robbery, Abbott said.
Hollin was originally a witness to hearing the shooting, Abbott said, but after interviews with investigators, her story changed.
“We caught her in some discrepancies,” Abbott said. “She admitted to being involved.”
Abbott said the arrests are a result of multiple law enforcement agencies and emergency personnel working together.
“This brings us to a major part of the conclusion,” he said. “If it was up to just one agency, we couldn’t do it.”
The events that led to the murder of Engle and the arrest of the three began early Thursday morning when Combs, Jarrell, Hollin, Engle and Engle’s roommate were hanging out in Engle’s apartment, according to Abbott.
Abbott said police believe the five had all been running around together for a while.
Originally, police said they believed the trio did not go to the apartment with the intent of robbing Engle. But Abbott said that changed while they were there.
Around 6:05 a.m., Engle’s roommate called the police to tell them that Engle had been shot.
Police said Combs and Jarrell were inside the apartment when Combs, using Engle’s gun, shot and killed Engle. Engle’s roommate and Hollin were outside when they heard two shots.
Abbott said one of the shots missed, and police were able to find the shell casings during a return visit to the apartment Friday.
Combs, Jarrell and Hollin took cash and drugs from the apartment, specifically about $300 worth of methamphetamine, before they stole the PT Cruiser parked outside and left the area, according to Abbott. The vehicle belongs to Engle’s ex-wife, Amanda Grajales, who had let him borrow it for a while.
The roommate, who has been interviewed by police, is not a suspect, Abbott said.
“(The three) had plans to restrain him while they committed the robberies,” he said.
Once Combs, Jarrell and Hollin left Seymour on State Road 11 and reached Columbus, Abbott said Hollin was let out and eventually went to the Seymour Police Department to talk to investigators.
Jarrell eventually went to Jennings County to be with family and cooperated with police there before turning herself in Friday.
Combs drove up to Hamilton County, left the car in a parking lot and was later arrested on a methamphetamine charge by police in Arcadia.
Abbott said Combs initially would not tell police there his real identity. But once he finally revealed he was from this area, police put two-and-two together and contacted local law enforcement here, he said.
Abbott said the situation is a by-product of the drug world.
“It’s a sad situation for everybody involved — for the victim’s family and the suspects’ families,” he said. “Most people on a day-to-day basis are good people. Sometimes, they just make poor decisions.”
That’s what led to Thursday morning’s incident, he believes.
By press time, Jarrell was still being interviewed by police in Seymour, and Abbott said she will initially be charged with murder and robbery once she’s booked at the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown.
Combs was to be brought back to Jackson County sometime late Friday. Seymour detectives Chris Franklin, Greg O’Brien and C.J. Foster along with Assistant Chief Craig Hayes spent Friday in Hamilton County gathering evidence.
“There are no jurisdictional issues between counties,” Abbott said.
The suspects’ initial hearings are not yet set.