GARY, Ind. — Charges are filed against a man from Kentucky for a 1994 murder in Gary, Indiana.
That June, 69-year-old Gloria Hansell, a widow living alone in Gary Indiana on an oxygen machine, was found strangled to death and raped.
With the FBI re-examining evidence, the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office is now charging 60-year-old Gerald Lynn Smith from Madisonville, Kentucky for the murder.
In 2020, Indiana State Police’s regional laboratory asked for help by the FBI’s Gang Response Investigative Team (GRIT) to investigate the evidence again. DNA found in a sexual assault kit made during Hansell’s autopsy connected Smith to the case.
GRIT discovered during the investigation that Smith knew Hansell and that he was in Gary before she was murdered.
Witnesses say that Smith – then 32-years-old – went to Hansell’s house twice. The first time offering to mow her lawn, but Hansell turned him down. The second time, that witness said that Smith went into Hansell’s house and make sexual advances towards her by trying to kiss her on the neck.
Alongside the FBI, the Gary Police Dept., Lake County Police Dept. Crime Scene Unit, and Hopkins County, Kentucky Sheriff’s Dept. all assisted in the investigation.
Prosecutors charged Smith with murder, murder while committing or attempting to commit rape, and rape.
If you have any information on this case or any other cold cases, FBI’s GRIT investigators ask you to call 219-942-4899.