By KEVIN NEVERS
Almost eight years ago, late in the morning of Oct. 11, 2000, David G.
Wahoske was baking a strawberry pie in the kitchen of his home at 1153 Beam
St. in Porter when someone shot him to death, one large-caliber round to the
head and one to the abdomen.
Despite conducting scores of interviews and uncovering at least one promising
lead—a white 1990 Dodge dual-wheel pickup truck with Oklahoma plates seen in
the area at the time of the murder—Porter Police were unable ever to develop
a case against a suspect.
The investigation never quite went cold and was certainly never suspended,
but no fresh information ever emerged.
Between April 27 and May 3 PPD detectives interviewed 11 persons in six
communities in Oklahoma. And Det. Mike Veal believes that “pertinent”
information has emerged from those interviews which has revitalized the
investigation and could at last lead to a break in the case.
Veal declined to reveal the nature of that new information except to say that
“the crux of the whole case has now moved from Porter to Oklahoma.” The 11
persons interviewed reside in Erick, Harrah, Weatherford, Choctaw, Coleman,
and Oklahoma City, and the PPD is being assisted by the Oklahoma Bureau of
Investigation and the FBI.
The Indiana State Police is also examining recent DNA evidence, Veal said.
While the investigation’s center of gravity may have shifted to Oklahoma,
however, the PPD is still seeking the public’s help in Northwest Indiana.
Investigators now think that the murder weapon was a Strum Ruger six-shot .41
caliber revolver, and are asking anyone who may have information about this
handgun to contact the PPD at 926-7611 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 342-7867. A
reward is being offered.
Investigators would also like to hear from anyone who has a memory of the
white Dodge dual-wheel pickup truck.
Wahoske’s body was found lying on its back on the kitchen floor by his
roommate around 12 p.m. on the day of the murder. Earlier that morning he had
left the house to go to the bank and after returning home had spoken on the
telephone to a friend around 10:30 a.m. A neighbor reported hearing a popping
sound around 11:11 a.m. but investigators were unsure at the time whether
that sound might have been made by the discharge of a gun. Wahoske’s roommate
did advise investigators that Wahoske typically left the front door unlocked,
so his murderer probably had little difficulty in entering the house.
Wahoske, 34, had recently lost his job as a pit manager at the Majestic
Casino in Buffington Harbor but had a hearing scheduled on the termination
and seemed confident that he would be reinstated, police reported in the days
after the murder.
At the time of his death Wahoske was in the process of obtaining a divorce
from his wife, Janet Hinchey Wahoske, who had moved to White Oak, Texas, with
their daughter. She now resides in Fillmore, Okla.
Another Oklahoma connection emerged in the case around 10 days after the
murder when the PPD announced that investigators had located a former
roommate of Wahoske and his wife in Oklahoma City. But the PPD neither
released his name nor identified him as a suspect. That man had lived with
Wahoske and his wife for around a year and for a time also worked at the
Majestic Casino but had moved out of the house on Beam Street some 12 months
prior to the murder.