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May 18, 2012

NAPD searches Monroe County for human remains

Search related to case against William Clyde Gibson, who has been charged in two murders

BLOOMINGTON — Officers with the New Albany Police Department have searched an area of Monroe County for human remains related to the William Clyde Gibson III case.

Gibson, 54, has been charged with the murder of 75-year-old Christine Whitis, of Clarksville, and 45-year-old Karen Hodella, whose family said she is from Florida and was visiting Jeffersonville at the time of her death. Whitis was found strangled in Gibson’s garage April 19. Hodella’s body was found in a wooded area near the Ohio River in January 2003. She had been missing since October 2002.

The body of Stephanie Kirk, 35, of Charlestown, was found buried in Gibson’s backyard in the 800 block of Woodbourne Drive, in New Albany, on April 27. She had been missing since March 25. Prosecutor Keith Henderson has not filed charges against Gibson regarding Kirk.

“The information developed was not connected to the homicides in Floyd County for which Gibson has already been charged, or the ongoing investigation into the death of Kirk,” according to a NAPD press release issued Friday afternoon.

Chief Deputy Michael Pershing with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department said NAPD officers were southwest of the Monroe County Airport on Thursday.

“They were looking to see if there were possible human remains that might be in the area that they had been given information about,” Pershing said. “As far as I know, New Albany won’t be here today,” he said Friday.

Pershing said his officers are out in the field today to see if they can find any human remains. He said he isn’t sure if or when New Albany officers will return to the area.

None of the information developed from the investigation and shared with Monroe County officials relates to Lauren Spierer, the Indiana University student who disappeared nearly a year ago from the Bloomington campus.

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