Slain woman's identity released by Starke Sheriff's Department
KNOX — A woman found slain in a Knox home Friday, June 6 has been identified by Starke County Sheriff's Department as Kimberly S. Chavez, 50, of Portage.
Kimberly was the estranged wife of Gary W. Chavez, 57, of Knox, who led multiple police agencies on a high speed chase across four counties Friday afternoon.
Gary Chavez allegedly carjacked his first car at Bailey's Discount Center in North Judson late Friday afternoon. He is reported to have arrived at Bailey's Discount Center in his personal vehicle, which he left behind before driving the car, along with his alleged hostage, to English Lake, where he left the hostage and allegedly forced the owner of an English Lake residence to surrender his vehicle.
From English Lake, Chavez crossed into La Porte, Porter, and Lake counties, traveling at a high rate of speed to elude capture by the authorities.
Crown Point Police deployed stop sticks in Lake County and Chavez lost control of the 1988 GMC Sierra pickup that he had carjacked in Portage.
As officers approached the vehicle, Chavez discharged a single shot from his weapon into his face.
Chavez was transported to Saint Anthony's Hospital in Crown Point and later airlifted to Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill., where he is listed in critical condition.
Officers learned from contents in Chavez's personal vehicle, that was left at Bailey's Discount Center, the location of Chavez's Knox residence. When they arrived at the home they discovered Kimberly Chavez deceased.
Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff was contacted and a search warrant for the Chavez home, as well as the hijacked vehicles in Starke County was requested from Starke County Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall.
Cause of death for Kimberly Chavez will be released when a forensic autopsy, which is scheduled for Monday, June 9 in Fort Wayne, has been concluded.
Police assisting in this incident were: The North Judson Police Department, Starke County Sheriff's Department, Knox City Police, La Porte County Police, Hebron Police, Porter County Sheriff's Department, Crown Point Police, the Lake County Sheriff's Department and the Indiana State Police, Lowell District.
Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff said the suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty.