Evansville Police have arrested a woman for allegedly beating a man who falsely told police he was involved in the disappearance of Aleah Beckerle.
Police say the victim, 41-year-old James Martin, was held against his will by at least two people for several hours on July 21. During his alleged confinement in 1100 block of N 3rd, 51-year-old Debra Wollner allegedly beat the man with a metal pipe. An unknown woman also assaulted Martin with her hands and feet, according to police.
Martin was told to ‘tell the truth’ about Aleah Beckerle’s disappearance and he said he agreed to lie to police in order to get the beating to stop.
After agreeing to this, Martin was allegedly driven to a house in the 400 block of E Iowa St.
Someone in that home called 9-1-1 telling police Martin was ready to confess his involvement in Aleah’s disappearance.
When police arrived, Wollner was heard by police saying, “Now, tell them what you told me.” Wollner is in a relationship with a family member of Aleah Beckerle, according to police.
Martin was then taken by police to be interviewed.
During the interview, Martin made statement implicating himself but investigators say they believed he was not doing this on his own free will.
When police learned of the beating and observed several injuries, investigators believed Martin didn’t have any involvement with Aleah’s disappearance.
On July 30, investigators were provided video of the victim whose head was seen bleeding.
A female voice and a male voice can be heard off camera talking to Martin.
Martin told police Wollner was the woman involved in the confinement and beating in the video.
Wollner is being held in the Vanderburgh County Jail on charges of battery with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit battery, criminal confinement, and conspiracy to commit criminal confinement.
Anyone with information concerning Aleah is asked to call EPD at 812-436-7979 or WeTip at 1-800-78-CRIME.