Video released in meat cooler murder of Andrew Fugate, 27, at Piatak Meats in Merrillville, Ind.

Andrew Fugate's body was found inside a cooler at a meat packing plant in Merrillville, Indiana, in November 2013.
February 24, 2014 4:48:08 PM PST
Andrew Fugate's body was found inside a cooler at a meat packing plant in Merrillville, Indiana, in November 2013. Police hope surveillance video will lead them to Fugate's killer.

Fugate was murdered during what may have been an attempted robbery at Piatak Meats, police said. The 27-year-old man was shot in the head three times, once at close range. His body was found on the floor in the cooler.

"This was a terrible crime against an innocent, I'll call him a boy because he's half my age, that was there working an early shift, minding his own business," Merrillville Chief of Detectives Robert Wiley said.

Fugate, the son of one of the owners of Piatak Meats, started his shift at 4 a.m. on November 4, 2013. Police were called to the scene around 7 a.m.

The company did not have surveillance of its own, but officials pieced together clips from neighboring businesses. The video shows a light-colored SUV, possibly a Chevy Tahoe or GMC Yukon driving to Piatak Meats around 4:45 a.m. Two people are seen going inside, and ten minutes later they get back in the SUV and drive off.

Chief Wiley hopes someone will recognize the car and call police.

"If they think that they know whose car it is, if they have heard something and had no reason to come forth before, to come forward," Chief Wiley said.

There was no forced entry into the meat plant, which suggests Fugate knew his killer.

"It was either someone he knew or somebody that claimed they needed help because Andrew would have opened the door for them and tried to help," Diane Cash, grandmother, said.

A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to a conviction in Fugate's murder.


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