A warrant is out for the arrest of Brenda J. Daniels, a 44-year-old Jasonville woman accused of removing evidence from the body of a deceased person before medical and law enforcement personnel arrived on the scene.
A bench warrant was issued out of Greene Circuit Court on Tuesday for the arrest of Daniels on a preliminary charge of obstruction of justice.
The case has been under investigation by Detective Ryan Van Horn of the Jasonville Police Department since emergency medical personnel and police officers were dispatched to a residence on Meridian Street in Jasonville on the morning of Dec. 6 in 2013 on the report of an unresponsive female.
JPD Chief Rick Van Horn was the first officer to respond after he got the call around 8:54 a.m. When he arrived, personnel from the Greene County Ambulance Service informed him that a 32-year-old female subject was deceased.
Chief Van Horn started the investigation on the scene and spoke with two adult individuals who were present in the home, including Daniels and one male subject. They both said the deceased woman appeared to be fine the previous night before she went to bed around 10:30 p.m.
Daniels told the officer when she got up around 8 a.m., she found the woman lying on the bathroom floor then woke the man up -- he tried to administer CPR and also called the Greene County Sheriff's Department for help.
Det. Van Horn arrived on the scene around 11:30 a.m. and also spoke with ambulance personnel, Chief Van Horn, and Brenda Daniels, noting he saw a large amount of prescription medication in the home while speaking with Daniels.
Later that same day, JPD Officer Andrew Duguay conducted interviews with another man and woman who had gone to the home that day to pick up items for a child they were going to care for -- the child of the deceased. They both said that while they were at the home, Daniels had told the woman she had "patches" to sell and asked if they knew anyone who would want pills.
They also said Daniels allegedly said it was her fault, that she had found the deceased woman the night before, had tried to give her CPR, had disposed of a needle in the house, and that she had removed two patches from the mouth of the deceased.
When Det. Van Horn interviewed Daniels a second time, she again said she found the woman on the floor early on Dec. 6 and had asked the man to call 911 and he did.
When asked specifically if anyone had done anything to the scene or removed anything from the scene, she allegedly said the woman did not have anything on her that someone would want, and then she allegedly said she thought the woman had got one of her (Daniels') Fentanyl patches and ate it.
According to a probable cause affidavit prepared by Det. Van Horn, the story was changing -- next Daniels said the deceased had a piece of plastic in her mouth and Daniels removed it to do CPR, she didn't know if it was a Fentanyl patch or not, and then she said she did believe it was a Fentanyl patch. She said she did not tell law enforcement because she was scared she would get in trouble.
Before 9 p.m. that evening, Officer Duguay had obtained a search warrant for the residence, and when it was executed, officers reported finding the Fentanyl patch that Daniels had described as the object she had removed from the mouth of the deceased.
On Dec. 7, an autopsy was conducted by Dr. Roland Kohr in Terre Haute. When toxicology results from a blood sample were returned, results indicated Fentanyl was in the system of the deceased.
Obstruction of justice is a class D felony.