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Indiana backyard yields remains; man suspected in 2 other deaths

April 28, 2012|By Dalina Castellanos

Remains found in a southern Indiana man's backyard were identified Saturday as those of a woman missing for more than a month. The man is already a suspect in two other women's deaths.

Stephanie Marie Kirk, 35, of Charlestown, Ind., was last seen March 25 when she said she was going to meet a man at a bar. Her disappearance sparked a two-day search of the Ohio River, the Jeffersonville (Ind.) News and Tribune reported. That search had recently been called off.

Kirk’s remains were found Friday evening in the backyard of William “Clyde” Gibson's home in New Albany, according to the Associated Press. Medical examiners in neighboring Kentucky used dental records and other means to identify the remains.

Gibson is being held without bond at the Floyd County Jail in connection with the death last week of 75-year-old Christine Whitis of Clarksville, Ind., and the death of 44-year-old hairdresser Karen Hodella, whose body was found in Clarksville in 2003.

He was arrested on drunk driving charges last week after police spotted him driving Whitis' car.

Gibson reportedly has a lengthy criminal record, and was sentenced to seven years in prison in a 1991 attack on a woman at a mall in downtown Louisville, Ky., the AP said. He pleaded guilty to robbery and sexual abuse in that assault.

On Friday, Floyd County prosecutor Keith Henderson cautioned against labeling Gibson a serial killer. But, he added in the News and Tribune, “the fact is it is a serious matter. We do have three individuals at this point."

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dalina.castellanos@latimes.com

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