Dearborn Co. prosecutor closes 1978 murder case - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Dearborn Co. prosecutor closes 1978 murder case

Penny Slayback with her daughter, Michelle Penny Slayback with her daughter, Michelle

DEARBORN COUNTY, IN (FOX19) - A homicide case in Dearborn County from 1978 has been closed the Prosecutor Aaron Negangard.

Negangard made the decision to close the case based upon the fact that the only person of interest as a possible suspect in the murder has died.

Pennette (Penny) Slayback was stabbed to death in her Greendale home on August 11, 1978.

The investigation revealed a man by the name of Neldon G. (Kenny) Kinsel, 32, from Vanceburg, KY was introduced to the victim on August 9, 1978.  A black four-wheel drive Ford pickup truck with a white toolbox was seen in the parking area near Slayback's home after midnight on August 11.  Kinsel owned a black four-wheel drive Ford pickup truck with a white toolbox.  Kinsel had purchased a knife at the Dearborn County Fair but told investigators he had lost it somewhere in Kentucky.  Kinsel further admitted to investigators he had been at Slayback's house until just after midnight on August 11. 

Evidence developed during the initial investigation was primarily circumstantial and investigators and prosecutors felt they didn't have sufficient evidence to secure a conviction at the time.  After months of investigation, no further evidence was obtained and the case went cold. 

In 1998 the case was again reviewed by Indiana State Police detectives and included a forensic consultation by a forensic pathologist.  In the opinion of the forensic pathologist, from a review of the initial autopsy, the time of death occurred sometime between 11:30 p.m. on August 10, 1978 and 1:00 a.m. on August 11, 1978.

In January of last year, Indiana State Police detectives reopened the case and re-examined evidence and witness statements.  The body of Penny Slayback was exhumed and witnesses were re-interviewed.  Detectives attempted to re-interview Kinsel who refused to make any statements.

Based upon the re-examined and new evidence, Prosecutor Negangard made the decision to proceed with the case and called for a grand jury investigation. Kinsel was subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury.  However, Kinsel committed suicide on Sunday, April 25, 2010 just before the grand jury was scheduled to convene.

After the death of Kinsel, the long-term person of interest in this case and, based upon the recent investigation, the probable suspect in the case, Prosecutor Negangard made the decision to close the investigation into Slayback's homicide.

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