The Washington Times-Herald

June 13, 2013

Murder suspects: 'It was something that popped in our heads'

Formal charges filed on Buskirk, Crosley in death of Linton woman.

By Nate Smith
Washington Times Herald

BLOOMFIELD — Formal murder charges were filed Thursday against two men in the death of Katelyn Wolfe.

Randal E. Crosley, 25, and Jordan Buskirk, 26, have both been charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, rape and criminal confinement in Wolfe’s death. Crosley was further charged with two counts of dealing in a Schedule IV controlled substance.

The probable cause affidavit reads like a mystery novel, as Buskirk told Linton police detectives the two allegedly planned to abduct and rape a woman, who would be Wolfe.

Buskirk then told detectives the two had sold Wolfe the prescription sedative Valium on two separate occasions the night of Wolfe’s death. At 1 a.m. on June 6, Buskirk said the two picked up Wolfe near her home in Linton and then drove to the country.

Then, according to the affidavit, the two stopped in the middle of a country road and got out of Buskirk’s car. The two then tried to hold the 19-year-old down to forcibly rape her and Buskirk then said Crosley choked her in a headlock until she passed out. She was then handcuffed and duct tape was placed over her mouth, the affidavit said. Wolfe  fought back, but was then punched in the head by Crosley, who put a white shirt he was wearing over her head.

The decision was then made to kill the girl.

“(Buskirk) explained (Crosley) then started saying over and over that she needed to die,” the affidavit said. “(Buskirk) explained he then took a rope, wrapped around her neck, and choked her until she stopped struggling.”

The two then placed Wolfe’s body in the trunk and after getting high off synthetic marijuana, they looked for a place to dump the body, the affidavit said. During that time, Crosley used Wolfe’s phone to send text messages to himself and to his wife Tamera to allegedly cover his tracks. He also used the phone to post a message on Wolfe’s Facebook page before he destroyed the phone and the SIM card.

At around 3:10 a.m., the two drove to a lake in rural Sullivan County where they used rope and a 20-pound anchor weight to throw Wolfe’s body down a hill. After a drug deal, the two went to a gas station in Sullivan to dispose of evidence.

It was video from that station that gave investigators the opening they needed. The affidavit stated mud on Crosley’s pants gave away a clue the Linton man was not being truthful in his statements. They also believed the two were allegedly hiding information based on phone records. Buskirk and Crosley both said they sold Wolfe the Valium, but left her in Sullivan on the night she disappeared.

In the affidavit, the two admitted they were drug dealers. A search of Buskirk’s vehicle found a ledger, cash and synthetic marijuana. Another search of Buskirk’s vehicle found a bottle of carpet cleaner in the trunk of the vehicle. A test of a stain in the car found blood. It was not determined if the blood was Wolfe’s, the affidavit said.

Wolfe’s father reported the girl missing last Thursday in Linton. Searches were made for the girl, but she was found from a tip by Crosley’s wife, Tamera. She told investigators she went to the lake on Sunday to look for Wolfe. She was familiar with the lake because of her husband and found a shoe floating in the water.

Conservation officers were then called in to search the area. Wolfe’s body was found by divers that afternoon. Buskirk was in the middle of failing a polygraph interview at the time and was then confronted with the news about the body. He then gave the alleged confession.

As to a possible motive, the affidavit also said the two “had previous conversations about forcing themselves onto a complete stranger for at least a week,” and Buskirk said the two went to an intimates store in Terre Haute and purchased handcuffs, restraints and other items.

The same day, the two also purchased rope and the 20-pound weight that would keep Wolfe underwater.  As to why, Buskirk told investigators “it was just something that popped in their heads.”

“He advised that it just crossed their heads to try to do it,” the affidavit said. “(Buskirk) explained that they kept the above listed items in the trunk of his car. He explained that initially they were not targeting Katelyn Wolfe, but they were just going to target somebody.

“(Buskirk) explained the opportunity was just there for Katelyn Wolfe.”

According to an autopsy, Wolfe had died to asphyxiation due to smothering and her death was considered a homicide. Private services have been scheduled in Dugger and a fund has been set up at Regions Bank locations for donations to her family.

Both men had initial hearings in Greene Superior Court and are being held without bond.