Father of two found murdered outside UAW building in Kokomo

KOKOMO, Ind. – A father of two young girls was killed in Kokomo, and police are asking for the public’s help to track down the killer.

The victim’s body was found on the floor of a picnic pavilion outside a UAW building at 2761 North 50 East by a man who works nearby.

“He was laying to the south side of these tables. Standing right here you would have noticed him,” said Chuck Griffin.

Griffin says he was concerned for the man’s well-being, so he got out of his car and walked over to offer help.

“I walked around and was like, ‘Hey buddy. You okay?’ and I got closer I realized he wasn’t fine. He was deceased,” said Griffin.

At first Griffin thought the man he found may have overdosed, but quickly realized that wasn’t the case.

“As I got out of my car it was real obvious it wasn’t an overdose. He had been shot,” said Griffin.

Chuck then quickly called 911. Police arrived and found 29-year-old Jason Heck dead on the scene. Heck leaves behind two young daughters.

At this point investigators can’t say for sure what led up to his death. Police are still trying to figure out why the victim got killed and who committed the crime.

“Kokomo is a very safe community, but I don’t have any idea as to cause of this crime at this time. The investigation is very preliminary,” said Kokomo police Capt. Tonda Cockrell.

A sign above the picnic pavilion claims the area is under video surveillance, although police won’t confirm if they have video of the crime. The area sits just a few feet away from a county road. Witnesses say that is an usual place for anyone to commit a murder.

“I just can’t imagine someone having the guts to do that right here in broad daylight. That’s pretty unnerving to me,” said Griffin. “It’s just crazy they would do that right out here in the open.”

This case remains under investigation by Investigators of the Kokomo Police Department and the Howard County Coroner’s office.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective Scott Purtee at 765-456-7278, or the Kokomo Police Department Hotline at 765-456-7017. You may qualify for a cash reward by calling Central Indiana Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS with your anonymous tip.