Indiana State Police Investigate a Death in Benton County *Update*

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5921 State Road 43
West Lafayette, IN 47906

FOR RELEASE: Upon Receipt

Sgt. Jeremy Piers
Public Information Officer

Twitter: @ISPLafayette

July 8, 2022

The Benton County Coroner Seeks Public's Assistance in Locating Next of Kin


The Benton County Coroner has positively identified the victim of the death that occurred in Ambia, IN, on July 3, 2022, to be Rita M. Spigner, who is a 61-year-old white female. Spigner has previously resided in Ambia, IN, Hammond, IN, Akron, OH, Miramar, FL, Sunrise, FL, and Norfolk, VA.

Over the course of the last five days, all efforts by the Indiana State Police and Benton County Coroner to locate and notify relatives have, so far, been unsuccessful. At the request of the Benton County Coroner, the Indiana State Police is seeking the public's assistance in locating the relatives of Spigner. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective AJ Smith by calling the Indiana State Police Lafayette Post at 765-567-2125.

The original news release can be found below. 


Indiana State Police Investigate a Death in Benton County


Benton County – At the request of the Benton County Sheriff's Department, detectives from the Indiana State Police Lafayette Post are conducting a death investigation in Ambia, IN.

A preliminary investigation indicates that on July 3, 2022, just before 9:00 p.m., Benton County Sheriff’s Department received a request for a welfare check at a residence on East Oak Street in Ambia, IN. When Deputies arrived at the residence, they located Edward Bagwell, 60, from Ambia, IN, who was living at the residence. Upon further investigation, deputies located one person deceased inside the residence. Bagwell was taken into custody and later transported to Benton County Jail. Deputies requested the assistance of detectives from the Lafayette Post. Further investigation revealed that Bagwell attempted to improperly dispose the body, but the exact circumstances surrounding the death are still under investigation.

The name of the victim located at the residence is being withheld pending identification and notification to the next of kin.

Arrested and preliminary charges:

- Edward Bagwell, 60, from Ambia, IN

  1. Abuse of a Corpse – Level 6 Felony

Detectives from the Lafayette Post were assisted on scene by troopers from the Lafayette Post, Indiana State Police CSI, Benton County Sheriff’s Department, and Benton County Coroner’s Office.

*All charges listed are merely accusations at this point. All criminal defendants are to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.



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