News and Tribune

April 27, 2012

Human remains found

Police discover third victim buried in accused killer's yard

By TARA SCHMELZ
tara.schmelz@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — Detectives late Friday were working on excavating and identifying human remains found in the backyard of a New Albany man recently charged in two murders.

William Clyde Gibson, 54, was charged in Floyd County on Tuesday with the week-old death of 75-year-old family friend Christine Whitis and the 2002 death of Karen Hodella, 45, of Jeffersonville.

Detectives began searching Gibson’s backyard around 2 p.m. Friday. Shortly before 10:30 p.m., Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson confirmed officials had found human remains buried in the backyard of Gibson’s home on Woodbourne Drive near University Woods apartments.  

Henderson said the remains appear to be that of “at least one individual” but wouldn’t speculate on the possibility of more victims. He said the remains appear to be weeks to months old — at the most.

When asked if Gibson could be a serial killer, Henderson said people need to be careful before using labels.

“The fact is it is a serious matter. We do have three individuatls at this point,” Henderson said. Henderson said he could not speculate how the third victim died but hopes to release the victim’s identity Saturday.

Gibson is being held in the Floyd County jail without bond.

The discovery at the home comes just hours after earlier in the day on Friday officials called off a more than two-day search of the Ohio River due to deteriorating water conditions. While law enforcement would not discuss specifics of the river search this week , one official at the site Wednesday confirmed that Gibson had made statements to police about the possibility of other victims. According to Louisville Metro Police Department Sgt. John Payne, nothing significant had been located during the search by the time it was called off around 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Check back at newsandtribune.com for more details.