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Columbus rally calls for Department of Justice to look into case of Cary Owsley’s mysterious death

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By Tanae Howard

The family of Cary Owsley and people in the Columbus community are demanding transparency from the Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department. They marched in front of the jail Saturday morning chanting "uncover the cover up."

"To uncover this cover up. We think it was handled wrong from the beginning. From the coroner to the sheriff's department and to shine light on this. To make people aware of what's gone on here," said Columbus resident Jeff Littrell.

The Owsley family has been fighting this battle with Cary's sister Cheryl at the helm. Her brother's April 2013 death was ruled a suicide. The family called for further investigation after learning the deputy who processed the scene used to be married to Cary's wife and it was his gun that was used.

"(Deputy Dewayne) Janes was connected. His sons live in that house. His ex-wife lives in that house. He was disqualified just because of that. Disqualified because of being off-duty and disqualified because of being related to the family and he still walked in that death scene touched the body touched the gun," said Cheryl Owsley-Jackson.

Saturday's rally was planned surrounding a firing hearing that was set for Janes. He was in trouble with the department again after he responded to another call involving his ex-wife and sons. The hearing was cancelled because Janes  retired last week. Now the focus has shifted to getting the Department of Justice involved to look at this case.

"We want Dewayne Janes arrested for obstruction of justice," said Owsley-Jackson.

Cary's death was ruled a suicide with no autopsy or forensic evidence. The Owsley family fought to have his body exhumed. Two pathologists were unable to determine the manner of death.

"Anybody who knew Cary Owsley knew he didn't commit suicide. Anybody who knew the family knew Cheryl was going to stand up and do something about it and I wanted to support that," said rally attendant, Nate Edge.

The family says this case has become bigger than their loved one and has brought the community together in this fight.

"They also know there's a possibility that if the official system here fails like it did so miserably for Cary it can fail for them too, so people want change. They just don't want justice for Cary they want change in this community," said Owsley-Jackson.

Janes' retirement goes into effect at the end of the month. Sheriff Mark Corbett's term is also coming to an end. The Owsley family wants the sheriff to hand over all records and investigative files to their lawyers before he leaves office.