|Officers led by tip to supposed remains of long-sought victim Paul Graupe|
|Written by Marty Randall|
|Wednesday, 21 November 2012 14:36|
Officers with the Scott County Sheriff's Department and an Indiana State Police forensic evidence team have recovered the presumed remains of Paul Graupe, an Austin resident who disappeared two days before Thanksgiving in 2009.
The missing man has been the subject of numerous searches by local police since his disappearance was reported by family members on November 26, 2009. No one has seen the slightly-built, dark-haired Graupe since the afternoon of November 24, 2009, when he reportedly said he planned to visit a man who owed him some money.
A tip provided to the Sheriff's Department on Tuesday, November 20, allowed the department to request a search warrant for the residence and outbuildings of Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Riley Sr., 586 West Main Street (State Road 256 West), Austin.
Through County Prosecutor Jason Mount, the search warrant was secured from Scott Circuit Court Judge Roger Duvall, and Sheriff Dan McClain assembled a team in the late afternoon. His team included the two ISP technicians, Chief Deputy Donald Campbell, Detective Rick Barrett, Deputies Jeremy Arnold and Rodney Rudder and Reserve Deputy Jack Sanders.
An arrest warrant for Robert L. "Bobby" Riley Jr., 39, was also issued that same day out of Scott Superior Court for nonsupport of a dependent. The younger Riley was reported to be over $2,000 behind in child support payments.
Upon the team's arrival at the Riley home just before 5:30 p.m., Bobby Riley was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Scott County Security Center in Scottsburg. The remaining family members were advised to leave the premises, and the home and grounds were secured by officers in preparation for a search.
No evidence was recovered from the family's home. The team then concentrated its efforts on a small duplex immediately behind the house. Reportedly, the structure had once been used as a rental unit, but no one had occupied the building since Graupe's disappearance.
Entering the building, officers found the structure in poor physical condition and filled with junk. Sheriff McClain said it took at least two hours to work through items piled in the building. The body was found in a back room, in surprisingly good condition, considering the time that had lapsed between Graupe's disappearance and its recovery.
Sheriff McClain said that Scott County Coroner Kevin Collins was notified as was Prosecutor Mount when the remains were discovered. Both arrived that evening to witness the removal of the body.
Evidence technicians collected material around the body before it was carefully removed and transported to the Kentucky Medical Examiner's Office in Louisville. Preliminary tests were performed on Wednesday, November 21, and a laminated worker's ID badge issued by the company for which Graupe worked was found in the body's clothing.
Additional testing was performed on Friday, November 23, by a forensic pathologist. Reportedly, the investigation revealed that Graupe had been stabbed in the back by a sharp object.
Officers remained on the scene that Tuesday past 11 p.m. as collection of possible evidence was performed.
On Wednesday morning, Bobby Riley's initial court hearing on the nonsupport charge, a Class D felony, was conducted in Superior Court. A not guilty plea was entered for Riley, with bond set at $25,000 and a jury trial date of February 12 scheduled.
Immediately after that hearing, Riley was taken to Circuit Court. A probable cause affidavit filed under a miscellaneous action and signed by Sheriff McClain indicated that Riley admitted to Detective Barrett and Deputy Arnold that he had stabbed Graupe and hid the body in the duplex.
Judge Duvall allowed a 72-hour hold to be placed on Riley because of the unlikelihood that proper forensic testing could be completed on the remains because of the Thanksgiving holidays. The hold order does not include holiday or weekend hours.
Riley is expected to be brought back to Circuit Court some time on Tuesday, November 27, to be formally charged, advised Prosecutor Mount.