Her body was discovered floating in a private pond at 1287 CR 600 when the property owner, who is not a suspect in the case, returned home Tuesday evening and contacted the Clay County Sheriff's Dept. at approximately 5 p.m. CCSD called the Indiana State Police half an hour later.
An investigative team of the ISP, CCSD, Clay County Coroner's Office and Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources has not yet determined a motive or identified any suspects in the woman's murder, ISP Sgt. Joe Watts told The Brazil Times late Wednesday afternoon. Dr. Roland Kohr performed an autopsy on the woman at Terre Haute Regional Hospital late Wednesday morning, but in order to preserve the integrity of the investigation, law enforcement officials have not revealed the cause of death. No murder weapon or sign of a struggle was found, Watts said, and there was no indication drugs or alcohol were factors.
"The cause of death was not out of the ordinary, so there's no need to panic," Watts said. "We (withhold cause of death) quite often. It kind of protects the case from erroneous calls. It's kind of a checks and balances system to pinpoint a suspect to a crime. It really safeguards against people calling in with false confessions. It kind of just puts the suspect at the crime scene."
The teenager's body was identified by her father, Brazil area resident Kenny Dickison, using photographs and dental records, Watts said. The victim's mother, a Louisiana resident, was not present.
"She was not a missing person that we were aware of," the ISP sergeant said of the former Northview High School student. At the time of her death, she was living with multiple roommates in an apartment on the south side of Terre Haute. Her roommates are not suspects in the investigation.
Law enforcement officials will not say how long the woman's body had been in the pond or whether she was murdered prior to being placed in the water. They do not yet know why Dickison's body was left in the Brazil area, and will not reveal whether she was transported to southern Clay County before or after her death. However, investigators are soliciting the public for information regarding any suspicious persons or activities from the previous weekend up through Tuesday, a time frame of approximately one week.
"We're trying to develop any and all leads. We're working around the clock with the sheriff's department," said Watts, who indicated officers are following up on any and all leads. "We are wanting any and all information. We are starting this investigation from ground zero."
Watts said anyone who noticed unusual vehicles, vehicles that may have driven by multiple times in one day, unusual or suspicious pedestrians, hunters who didn't appear to be hunting, or anyone lingering in the vicinity of the pond at the south side of CR 600 S approximately three-tenths of a mile west of SR 59 to contact authorities. Callers should not be concerned the information they have may be considered trivial or useless information, he added, as any tips or leads from area residents, friends, acquaintances or relatives of the victim could be crucial to the investigation. Persons with any information should contact ISP Det. Tony Guinn at 812-299-1152 or Clay County Sheriff's Dept. Deputy Mike Heaton at 812-446-2535.