The man charged with murdering his step-daughter has been prohibited from
contacting the other family members with whom he lives in Valparaiso.
On Wednesday, Allen Warnes, 55, was issued a no-contact order by Porter
Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa, Alexa’s bailiff told the Chesterton
That order bans him from contacting his wife, Rebecca Warnes; four juveniles
in the household; and a family friend, the bailiff said.
Warnes was formally charged on Monday with the murder of his step-daughter,
Shawnna Forgus, 22, whose body was found on the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 21,
in her bedroom at the family home at 403 Courtney St. Porter County Coroner
Chuck Harris has said that Forgus sustained trauma to the head and neck and
may have been strangled but that a final determination of cause of death is
pending the result of tissue tests.
Warnes was charged after various family members—changing their original
account of events—reported to investigators that Warnes and Forgus had
argued in the early-morning hours of Feb. 21. Forgus’ sister and the family
friend both advised that they heard the sounds of a physical disturbance
from Forgus’ bedroom, Forgus’ sister that she heard Warnes and Forgus
arguing in her bedroom, and the family friend that she saw a man resembling
Warnes subsequently leaving that bedroom.
Forgus’ sister and the family friend also advised that they did not
initially report what they witnessed because they fear Warnes.
Meanwhile, Warnes remains in custody at the Porter County Jail, after he
indicated at Wednesday’s initial hearing that he’s trying to retain a
private attorney, the bailiff said. An attorney status hearing has been
scheduled for March 23, at which time Alexa may consider the issue of bond,
the bailiff added.