A Valparaiso woman nearing the end of a four-year prison term after pleading
guilty to criminal confinement and intimidation is being sought as a
fugitive by the U.S. Marshals Service, after authorities said she removed
her electronic monitoring prior to a drug screen at the PACT office on Feb.
April Lynn Kuchta, 19, has been charged with two counts of escape and is the
U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive of the Week.
In October 2011, Kuchta was given an effective sentence of four years in the
Indiana Department of Correction. Eligible for release after serving half
that sentence, Kuchta began her Community Transition Period on Feb. 1.
According to the probable cause affidavit filed by Ruth Garriott of the
Porter County Adult Probation Department, on Feb. 6 Kuchta’s PACT case
manager reviewed the GPS activity on Kuchta’s electronic monitoring device
and concluded that her physical movements the day before did not coincide
with the schedule which she had submitted on Feb. 4.
When questioned by her case manager, Kuchta told him that a medical
appointment for Feb. 5 had been canceled so instead she ran errands for her
grandmother. Her grandmother, however, subsequently advised that she had
been in Mishawaka all day on Feb. 5 and “was unaware that April Kuchta had
left home for any reason,” Garriott stated in her affidavit.
Then, at 1 p.m. Feb. 6, Kuchta arrived for a meeting at the PACT office and
was told she would have to submit to a drug screen. “At that time Kuchta
left the PACT building, cut off her GPS monitor, and threw it into a garbage
can located on the corner of Monroe Street and Valparaiso Street,” Garriott
stated. “April Kuchta has not been heard from since that time.”
The U.S. Marshals Service described Kuchta as being 5’ 2’’ in height, 135
pounds in weight, with brown hair and green eyes.
Kuchta—who the U.S. Marshals Service said has “an extensive criminal
history”—formerly resided in the 500 block of Glenwood Hills in Valparaiso
but has been known to frequent Lake and LaPorte counties.
In April 2011, Kuchta and a 15-year-old accomplice lured a 17-year-old
special needs boys to a residence in the 300 block of Roseland Terrace,
where they threatened him with a knife, handcuffed him, and sexually
battered him, the Valparaiso Police Department said at the time.
Kuchta was originally charged with criminal deviate conduct but pleaded
guilty to one count of criminal confinement, a Class C felony punishable by
a term of two to eight years; and one count of intimidation, a Class D
felony punishable by a term of six months to three years.
Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa sentenced Kuchta to eight years on
the Class C felony, four of those years suspended; and to three years on the
Class D felony, none suspended. But Alexa ordered Kuchta to serve those
terms concurrently for an effective term of four years in the Department of
Correction. Kuchta was eligible for release after serving half of that time.