Body found in Noble County ditch was a Fort Wayne woman

NOBLE COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – The Noble County sheriff said Tuesday that detectives have “several” persons of interest related to the killing of a Fort Wayne woman whose body was found late Sunday just off a Noble County roadway.

Sheriff Doug Harp added that the investigation is very much open and ongoing.

Suzanne Moore (Young Family Funeral Home)

The body of 39-year-old Suzanne Michele Moore of Fort Wayne was found Sunday in a ditch just off the 11000 block of County Road 500 South, west of Old State Road 3 south of LaOtto. Police were called there after Noble County 911 dispatchers received a call about a woman down next to a roadway.

The Noble County Coroner ruled Moore’s death a homicide, but Harp on Tuesday refused to release the cause of her death. The sheriff reiterated the investigation was “ongoing.”

Moore previously lived in Rome City and Kendallville but had more recently lived in a home in the 200 block of East Masterson Avenue, just south of downtown Fort Wayne. It was at that house that the Indiana State Police SWAT team and Noble County sheriff’s deputies served a search warrant late Monday night and arrested one man – Tracey Lamont Martin – on charges of possession of a firearm as a violent felon and marijuana.

Harp said SWAT was called in to assist with the search warrant because of Martin’s violent past. He is currently on probation for a cocaine conviction. He also has previous convictions for robbery, drug offenses and carjacking. Harp said Martin was not considered a suspect in Moore’s death. Martin and Moore’s cars were taken from the house by investigators.

Harp added that the killing of Moore appeared to be an isolated incident. “It’s not something that we’re concerned that we’ve got somebody on the loose so to speak.”

Deputies from the Noble County Sheriff’s Department conduct an investigation on County Road 500 South near Old State Road 3 on Aug. 20, 2017.

The sheriff said his detectives are working to establish a timeline of information, including when Moore was last seen. He said her body did not appear to have been in the roadside ditch for an “extended length of time.”

As the first homicide of the year, Prosecutor Eric Blackman said they’ve been lucky. “Luckily Noble County has escaped a lot of these type of major homicides or major serious crimes that a lot of surrounding counties have.”

Sheriff Harp said the public can help them piece the investigation together. “People in the community that live in those areas wherever it is, in whatever community, they’re the eyes and ears of law enforcement. They know their community a lot better than an officer that travels through there periodically.

If you have any information, call the Noble County Sheriff’s Department at (260) 636-2182.

Tuesday’s briefing was the first batch of information released by the sheriff’s department. Before Tuesday, the sheriff’s department would not reveal what time dispatchers even took the 911 call or how long sheriff’s deputies were on scene.

NewsChannel 15 attempted to gather details Sunday and throughout Monday, but the department declined to provide any information, including the nature of the investigation.