ID Confirmed, Disturbing New Details In Noble County Death Probe

By Peter Ambrose
By Jeff Neumeyer

July 22, 2011 Updated Jul 22, 2011 at 8:04 PM EDT

ALBION, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Police already suspected foul play, now we know for sure the woman's body pulled from a Noble County lake this week is the subject of a criminal investigation.

Results of an autopsy are not yet conclusive, meaning authorities still don't know for sure if it's a homicide case.

Late Friday, there was confirmation of identity.

The victim is 36-year old Erin Ruth Justin, who lived in the 1700 block of West Main Street in Fort Wayne.

The medical examiner used dental and fingerprint records to positively ID the body.

A fisherman and his 12-year old son, who were using Bartley Lake on Wednesday night, saw the body floating near the surface of the water.

Divers recovered the body a short time later.

A source familiar with the case tells Indiana's NewsCenter that investigators found evidence the woman's feet had been tied to cinder blocks apparently meant to weigh the body down.

Noble County Prosecutor Steve Clouse would not discuss the condition of the body, but he did offer some hint as to why authorities are pursuing a criminal investigation.

Steve Clouse/(R) Noble County Prosecutor: " We have a woman in the lake, and by all evidence she didn't get there by herself, and I guess that's as much as I can really say at this point."

Clouse is asking for the public’s help in solving the mystery of how Justin died and how her body was disposed of.

He is urging any fishermen, campers, or other visitors to Bartley Lake or nearby Port Mitchell Lake, between the dates of June 18th and July 20th, to contact the Noble County Sheriff's Department at 260-636-2182.

He says their help could be immeasurable.

June 18th is an important date, because that's the last day Erin Justin is known for sure to have still been alive.

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