Police: Tips, cooperation from neighbors led to manslaughter arrest

Steven L. Lemler (Photo courtesy of the Allen County Sheriff's Department)
Steven L. Lemler (Photo courtesy of the Allen County Sheriff's Department)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Police said tips and cooperation from neighbors led to an arrest in a homicide case where a man was found dead in a backyard on High Street.

Police arrested Steven L. Lemler, 28, of Fort Wayne, on a preliminary charge of involuntary manslaughter early Friday morning.

Police found 42-year-old Kirk D. Lecount’s body in the backyard of a home in the 1700 block of High Street on Thursday, July 18 around 12:30 p.m. after a neighbor called in.

Another tenant in the house where Lecount lived saw him in the yard earlier in the morning, but didn’t call police for about two hours because they said it’s normal to find the man passed out, according to police.

After speaking with several neighbors, police said they believe there was a fight involving Lecount that turned physical on the night before he was found dead.

Lecount died of blunt force trauma. His death was ruled a homicide by the Allen County Coroner.

Raquel Foster, spokesperson for the Fort Wayne Police Department, said “the investigation progressed quickly due to the immediate and overwhelming cooperation of the neighborhood, and due to eyewitness information.”

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