Coroner: Man found dead after 2-day manhunt in Richmond died by hanging

Published: Friday, July 20, 2018 @ 2:55 PM
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2018 @ 10:48 AM

Multiple Agencies searching for fugitives wanted for child molestation in Indiana

UPDATE @10:50 a.m. July 25:

Alan Estep, who was found dead after a two-day search in Richmond, Ind., used a T-shirt to hang himself, according to Wayne County Coroner Ron Stevens.

The preliminary cause of death for Alan Estep has been ruled asphyxiation by hanging, Stevens said. 

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Toxicology results are pending.

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Charles Estep, Alan Estep’s brother, was taken into custody by SWAT. Both Charles and Alan were wanted for parole violation and child molestation, according to police.

UPDATE @ 1:55 p.m. July 21:

Alan Estep’s death is currently under investigation, according to Wayne County Coroner’s Office.

His body was transported to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office for a full forensic autopsy today.

UPDATE @ 11:36 a.m. July 21:

One brother was taken into custody and the other was found dead from an apparent suicide after a two day search in Richmond, Indiana Saturday, according to a press release from the Richmond Police Department.

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Charles Estep, 27, was taken into custody by the Richmond Police Department SWAT team around 7:45 a.m. 

Alan Estep, 27, was found dead at the scene of an apparent suicide, according to the release.

Charles and Alan were both wanted for parole violation as well as child molesting, the release stated.

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One of the men were seen in the area of Meijer, located at 2507 Chester Boulevard around 6:20 a.m. He was seen fleeing into a wooded area nearby.

Officers from multiple agencies set up a perimeter in the area and were able to locate Charles behind Meijer. He was transported to Wayne County Jail on his warrants. 

Alan was found dead at the scene south of where Charles was apprehended in the wooded area around 8:30 a.m.

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This case began out of Hamilton County, Indiana, according to the release.

Multiple agencies assisted with the search including, Richmond Police Department, Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, U.S. Marshall’s Service, Indiana State Police, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana University Police Department, Indiana DNR, Centerville Police Department, and the Wayne County Emergency Operations Center. 

Major Jon Bales of the Richmond Police Department credited cooperation and communication between agencies as a key competent to the success of this case.

UPDATE @ 10:07 a.m. July 21:

Police out of Richmond, Indiana have confirmed the search for two fugitives wanted on child molestation charges has ended. 

Update July 21 @ 7:52 a.m.: 

Local, state, and federal officers are actively searching for two fugitives who fled police apprehension Friday afternoon in Richmond, Wayne County Regional Dispatch confirmed.

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Brothers Charles and Alan Estep, both wanted on child molestation charges, fled into a reservoir and then into a heavily wooded area at 1750 Sylvan Nook Drive, Richmond police said in a statement posted on their Facebook page.

The Estep brothers are both 27-years-old, Caucasian and 5 feet 9 inches tall. Charles weighs 150 lbs. with blonde hair and green eyes. Alan weighs 160 lbs. with brown hair and brown eyes.

SWAT teams, water crafts and drones piloted by the Richmond Fire Department have been used in the search. 

The fugitives are considered armed and dangerous. Police are urging anyone with information to call 911 immediately.

FIRST REPORT July 20 @ 2:49 p.m.:

Richmond Police and federal agents are searching for two possibly armed men who eluded them after a chase Friday afternoon on the north side of the Middlefork Reservoir area in Richmond, Indiana. 

The Wayne County 9-1-1 Center sent out two tweets alerting residents in the area to the manhunt. Reports are the two men are wanted on child molestation charges.

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A man living in the area who contacted our newsroom said he and other residents were told by Richmond Police to stay indoors. The man added police suggested contacting them for an escort if you needed to go outside to get in to your vehicle.

The man told our newsroom a boat and a drone appeared to being used in the search. 

According to emergency dispatch the suspect eluded police during a foot chase and is now at large. Indiana University East issued an alert Friday stating their campus was on lockdown. The campus was later closed for the day as the manhunt continued.

We are working to learn more.