AUBURN, Ind. (WANE) A near-seven-month internal investigation into missing evidence at the Auburn Police Department has left that department and others without an answer.
In a press conference inside the Auburn City Hall Tuesday, Auburn Police Chief Martin McCoy said the investigation into missing cash, knives, a shotgun and bullets is “unresolved.”
The investigation began Jan. 19, when McCoy said Auburn Police evidence officers told him about $1,447 missing from the department’s evidence room. A deeper look then found more missing – a total of $2,033.25, McCoy said.
Officers told McCoy four knives, eight .22-caliber bullets and a 12-gauge shotgun had also gone missing from the evidence locker, the chief said. McCoy said he believes the weapons and ammunition was likely destroyed, though, rather than stolen and the method just wasn’t properly documented.
A criminal investigation into the missing cash was opened Feb. 2, when McCoy contacted Indiana State Police. State Detective Kevin Smith and Trooper Andrew Mills were assigned to the case, and tasked with looking into 37 people, including police officers and civilians as well as contractors given access to the evidence room, McCoy said.
By April 6, the state police exhausted all leads and his case was turned over to the DeKalb County Prosecutor’s Office and McCoy for review, the chief said.
From there, McCoy opened an internal investigation through the Auburn Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards. That three-and-a-half month investigation pulled in the Allen County Sheriff’s Department for help, and included analysis of written statements, McCoy said.
Allen County Sheriff’s investigators identified five Auburn Police employees that they felt warranted further investigation, McCoy said. The professional standards investigators then interviewed those employees and four of the five were forced to take polygraph tests, McCoy said.
On July 23, McCoy said that investigation was closed and the findings were turned over to him.
“At this time the theft of money from Auburn Police Department’s evidence room remains unresolved,” McCoy said.
McCoy said the internal investigation will be turned over to the Auburn Police Disciplinary Review Board to look into whether the department’s internal policy and procedures were violated, and if disciplinary actions are necessary.