LAGRANGE COUNTY, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Six years after Terry and Darleen Anderson were brutally murdered in their home in Mongo, their case still remains unsolved. Sherry Musilek, Terry’s daughter and Darleen’s step-daughter, holds a memorial every year on the anniversary of their death in hopes of finding answers.
“There's still a hole in our hearts that needs to be filled,” said Rev. James Bartlett, close friend of Terry and Darleen.
“Every time I think about it, it hurts,” Sherry said. “It’s very brutal and very hard to know that your family was hurt like that…uncaring and just animalistic.”
Terry and Darleen were spending a normal evening at home on October 21, 2005; Terry out in his shed, and Darleen watching TV with a bowl of popcorn when someone broke into their home and killed them via blunt force trauma. Police said the murder disguised the killing as a robbery, although nothing of value was taken. Mongo, Ind. is a small community of 200 people and is described as being “landlocked by state-owned game preserves.” The Anderson’s murder was LaGrange County’s first ever double homicide.
“No one ever expected anything like this to happen in our community,” said Rev. Bartlett. “I would say that the person or persons that committed these crimes are living in their own hell of being tortured with knowing they committed this crime.”
Sherry said the lack of forensic evidence has left the case unsolved, but evidence did show that the suspect was probably someone who was close to her family.
“It was someone that either visited them frequently or really went there prepared and knew they were going there for a reason and covered themselves up with gloves and body armor and didn’t leave anything,” said Sherry. “Strangers usually don’t use blunt force trauma a dozen times to senior citizens. They would use an easier weapon like a gun, something that wouldn’t be personal.”
Which is why Sherry holds the memorial service every year by their grave at Mongo Memorial Cemetery—to give a voice of justice for her loved ones who can no longer speak for themselves.
“I don’t do it for myself for therapy. I do it to keep their homicides open and keep the communication open so maybe someone will talk,” Sherry said. “How could you not want to help find justice and find the answers on who did this?”
Since the tragedy, Sherry has taken every avenue possible to find answers. She said she’s used billboards, social media websites, spoken to media outlets like Indiana’s NewsCenter and America’s Most Wanted, and kept her search a topic of conversation. Sherry has also discovered the VIDOCQ Society, a Philadelphia-based organization of crime solving and forensic experts who work with local law enforcement on unsolved crimes at no cost to the county, the state, or the victim’s family. Sherry offered to have VIDOCQ work with the LaGrange County Sheriff’s Department, but she said they declined.
“This is a great opportunity and I don’t feel they should let it go,” said Sherry. “It’s important that the LaGrange Sherriff’s department knows that this opportunity is very closed. The public is not involved, the survivors and their families are not involved. It’s strictly just law enforcement and them.”
In the meantime, Sherry continues to search for justice and is even offering a $20,000 reward to anyone with answers.
“I love you Dad and Darlene! I will never ever give up until justice is served.”
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