HOWARD COUNTY, Ind. – The Howard County sheriff’s department is investigating the disappearance of $1,700 that Deputy Carl Koontz confiscated during a traffic stop on the night he was killed.
On March 19, 2016, Koontz seized approximately $1,700 during a traffic stop. During that traffic stop deputies learned that Evan Dorsey, wanted on a Clinton County warrant, was at 380 Chandler Street in Russiaville.
Koontz was among the officers who responded to the home at 380 Chandler Street to serve a search warrant. While serving the warrant, Koontz and Sgt. Jordan Buckley were shot. Koontz died from his injuries; Buckley was wounded but has since recovered and returned to duty.
According to Howard County Sheriff Steven Rogers, the money seized during the stop was documented, counted and retained by Koontz during the initial investigation.
In the days after the shooting, sheriff's investigators realized the money was not in the evidence system and opened an investigation in to the matter on March 30, 2016.
The ensuing investigation revealed that Koontz placed the money in a marked evidence bag and retained it in his possession up to the time of meeting with other officers prior to approaching the Russiaville residence.
Koontz's vehicle was unattended for a brief time after the shooting and eventually brought to the Howard County Criminal Justice Center on March 21. The investigation reveals the vehicle was placed at the flag pole area for display.
Rogers said there is “no conclusive fact” regarding what happened to the money. He said the investigation has not indicated any sheriff’s department employees as a suspect in the money’s disappearance.
Koontz and Deputy Jordan Buckley were essentially ambushed by Dorsey when they entered his trailer shortly after midnight and were then dragged to safety.
Two hours later, SWAT team members entered the trailer and found Dorsey dead by his own hand.
Rogers said, “I have no documentation in front of me,” when asked if the suspect from the earlier traffic stop who directed deputies to Dorsey’s trailer had called his friend from inside the Howard County Jail to warn him officers were on the way, though the sheriff said Indiana State troopers were continuing their investigation.
A search warrant filed by investigators and returned to Howard Superior Court three months later indicated troopers found six guns and ammunition inside Dorsey’s trailer along night vision gear and a home surveillance system, $735 in cash and more counterfeit money, various suspected drugs, three Kokomo Police Department shirts, a Sheridan Police Department shirt and a Kokomo Police badge and wallet.
Also recovered was the in-car camera system from Koontz’ patrol car.
Howard County Prosecutor Mark McCann was reportedly set to meet with state police investigators today to review their file.
The prosecutor does not have a timetable for releasing his report.
Rogers said the investigation of the disappearance of the money seized by Koontz that night is being treated as an internal issue.
The department has notified Indiana State Police and the Howard County Prosecutor’s Office about the missing money. Rogers said the ultimate responsibility for the money falls on the Howard County Sheriff’s Office.
Anyone with information regarding the case should call HCSD Investigations at (765) 456-2031.