INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (AP) -- A pilot took his 8-year-old daughter up in a small plane Monday and crashed it into
his former mother-in-law's house in southern Indiana, killing himself and the girl, authorities said.
A preliminary crash investigation leads "us to believe that this was an intentional act," Indiana State Police spokesman
1st Sgt. Dave Bursten said.
The crash in Bedford, about 20 miles south of Bloomington, killed Eric Johnson, 47, of Bedford, and his daughter Emily,
Bursten said. Emily did not go to school Monday, and Johnson's ex-wife, Beth Johnson, went to Bedford police headquarters
about 11:30 a.m. to say she believed he might have abducted the girl, Bursten said.
That was about 45 minutes after the Cessna crashed into the residence of Eric Johnson's former mother-in-law, Vivian Pace,
"It is just gut-wrenching to think about what was happening to that child just prior to the crash," Bursten said Monday
night at a news conference in Indianapolis.
Father and daughter had been on a trip together, but Beth Johnson expected the girl to be in school by Monday morning,
"She had a feeling this morning something was wrong," Pace told WISH-TV in Indianapolis.
Authorities will not know for sure whether the crash was intentional until the National Transportation Safety Board completes
its investigation, which could take up to a year, Bursten said.
State police had no record of disputes between the Johnsons, Bursten said.
Earlier, before the pilot was identified as a relative, Pace told The Times-Mail newspaper that she was in the living room
of her one-story home when the plane struck the side of the building. She said everything fell off the walls.
She said she had heard a plane making a "horrible noise" before the crash.
The crash happened near Virgil I. Grissom Municipal Airport, where the plane had been leased, state police Cpl. Eric Dunn
Witnesses said the plane appeared to be trying to land when it veered sharply and went out of sight, The Times-Mail reported
on its Web site.
There were no reports of injuries on the ground, though the impact left much of the plane lodged inside the house.
|Rest in Peace
Dad suspected of stabbing 11-month-old son'Knife was buried all the way to the handle' in baby's back, police
Updated: 1:24 p.m. ET March 15, 2007 INDIANAPOLIS - A man stabbed his 11-month-old son in the back, threw
the boy out the car window with the kitchen knife stuck in his back and then drove away, police said Thursday. His 5-year-old
son managed to escape unharmed.
“He was conscious, but the knife was buried all the way to the handle,” said Speedway Detective
Jim Thiele. The boy, Devin Chandler, was in stable condition at a hospital Thursday.
Officers had found Kevin Chandler’s car but were searching for him. Thiele said Chandler is homeless
and had been staying with some friends or family. Police think 31-year-old Chandler and the boy’s mother, Angela Limbrock,
were arguing as they prepared to leave Limbrock’s apartment on the west side of Indianapolis Wednesday night.
Limbrock handed Devin to Chandler so she could retrieve his car seat inside the home. As she left the car,
she heard Chandler swear at the boy and turned around to see him throw Devin out of the car window, according to a police
report. When Limbrock picked up her son, she saw a knife in his back, the report said.
She ran back to the home, where residents called for an ambulance.
“We’re still trying to determine motive here, but at this point I have no reason to believe he
did this to get back at the mother or anything,” the detective said.
Speedway Police Capt. Charles Upchurch said Thursday that the department will ask prosecutors to issue an
arrest warrant if they do not locate Chandler.
“I don’t know why anyone would want to harm an 11-month-old baby,” Morgan said.
Chandler has been arrested several times for crimes including domestic battery, auto theft and driving while
intoxicated, records show. He served time in an Indiana prison for cocaine possession and carrying an unlicensed firearm near
school property, records show.
In 2005, police arrested Chandler after he allegedly kicked Limbrock in the head and body.