Elwood man sentenced to 103 years for murdering his aunt

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Photo of Donald Burns

MARION, Ind. (October 10, 2015) — A judge has sentenced a 51-year-old Elwood man to 103 years in prison in the death of his aunt, who disappeared months before her remains were found.

The Indianapolis Star reported Friday that Grant County Circuit Judge Mark Spitzer gave the sentence to Donald Burns. A jury had convicted Burns of murder and other felonies related to the death of 74-year-old Dorothy Heard of Noblesville.

The woman’s remains were found in February 2012 near Marion. Her daughter had reported her missing in June 2011, telling police her mother left a note saying she was visiting a gravesite with Burns.

Prosecutors say Burns pawned Heard’s wedding ring and used her credit card to buy nearly $400 in merchandise.

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