EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Charges have been upgraded for three suspects arrested in connection with the death of a woman found buried in an Evansville garage.
Angela and Joan Paul and Gary Anderson were originally facing abuse of a corpse, obstruction of justice and failure to report a dead body. And Angela Paul was facing murder charges, but now all three suspects have been charged with murder.
Prosecutor’s have also filed a sentencing enhancement for criminal gang activity. The enhancement would increase their sentence, if convicted. It alleges the three worked together to commit a crime.
Police were tipped off about a body being buried in a garage at a property on North 3rd Avenue in Evansville. Officers found the body of 29-year-old Evonne Pullen wrapped in a plastic tarp.
According to police, Pullen’s body was in that garage for more than a year. They believe Pullen died in September 2018.
According to an affidavit, Pullen had been reported missing in July 2019, but her family hadn’t seen her since September 2018 when she moved to Evansville from Virginia.
Police say Angela Paul met Pullen while they were living in a shelter in Virginia.
In an interview with police, Angela Paul said the victim died on September 25, 2018 inside the home. She admitted to burying the body in the garage along with Gary Anderson.
According to the affidavit, Angela Paul had been hitting and punching the victim in the weeks leading up to her death.
Joan Paul said the victim had bruises and other marks all over her body.
The Vanderburgh County Coroner said Pullen died from blunt force trauma and rule her death a homicide.
Evansville Police say the decision to add charges against the two came after they and Vanderburgh County Prosecutors met. People who live in the neighborhood where it happened say the case is starting to have an impact.
“It’s kind of unsettling, especially being this close to home right in our backyard,” said Jordan Haire, whose family lives across the alley from the garage where Pullen’s body was found more than a year after her death.
“I got up and came to the kitchen, and saw out the backdoor there was a cop out here with his flood lights on. Me and my brother-in-law talked about it, not sure what was going on,” he recalled.
Haire says his family didn’t know the three who were charged, or Pullen very well. He says the discovery of the body this week may have others more concerned about the safety of their loved ones.
“I’m sure everybody is keeping a close watch on people they love, trying to stick to themselves a little more,” Haire said.
Pullen moved to Evansville from Virginia last year. Her friend Catherine Leake Williams, who made a Justice For Evonne Pullen Facebook page, says she tried to convince Pullen to move back to Virginia after hearing of the alleged abuse she suffered.
“She stated that she made the worst mistake of moving to Indiana and I told her to get out and come back home. At the time, I just moved to Alabama. I called her that her family loves her and is willing to help her,” she says.
“It’s terrible what happened, especially with the situation, how she was, it’s a terrible situation,” adds Haire.
The suspects are scheduled to be in court on Friday, November 15th at 1PM.
(This story was originally published on November 14, 2019)