Shalee Murdock has been arrested and booked into the Madison County Jail.
Update (04/03/23): Jason DeWayne Smith has been arrested and preliminarily charged with Dealing in a controlled substance resulting in death. He is being held on a pre-trial basis and a $100,000 bond in the Madison County Jail.
ANDERSON, Ind. — Police in Anderson are asking the public to help find two people wanted in connection to the death of an Anderson woman.
According to the Anderson Police Department, Jason DeWayne Smith and Shalee Kay Murdock were “associated” with the death of an Anderson woman in November of 2019.
Smith, who also goes by “Freaky,” is 5’8″ and 150 pounds. Murdock is described as being 5’1″ and 105. She has blonde hair and hazel eyes.
According to court records, police found Melinda Chanley dead inside a residence on Arbor Drive in Anderson on Nov. 2019. Police say Chanley died from an overdose involving heroin and fentanyl.
Madison County Deputy Prosecutor Andrew Hanna said overdoses in the county are rising, especially with the rapid growth of fentanyl.
“Fentanyl is just a much more lethal substance,” Hanna said. “I believe just 2 mg of fentanyl can be a potentially lethal dose. So a gram of fentanyl can be potentially lethal to 500 people.”
According to court documents, phone records show Chanley asked Murdock to purchase heroin for her on the day she died. Court records show Murdock and Chanley picked up the drugs by a home on East 5th Street from a supplier known as “freaky.” Police believe Smith may have been that supplier.
Daniel Rosenberg with Crimestoppers said it is imperative police find Smith and Murdock.
“I think there’s a great danger to the public that these folks are going to continue their craft,” he said. “We got to get them off the streets and get them away from their craft. Otherwise, there’s going to be a lot more people that pass away.”
Both Murdock and Smith face charges of dealing in a controlled substance resulting in death.
“Before 2018, when the dealing resulting in death statute was passed, and an acted prosecutors before that point had to rely on either reckless homicide or just regular dealing offenses,” Hanna said.
The new offense is one prosecutors say results in greater accountability and punishment, but is often hard to prosecute for a variety of reasons.
“Often times individuals will have multiple different substances and those are from multiple different sources,” Hanna said. “So proving what source that substance came from that ultimately led to their death can be challenging in these cases.”
As investigators continue to pursue this particular case, Crimestoppers believe Smith and Murdock are still in the area.
Even if they are hanging out in Kokomo, we know that there are people in Anderson, in and around the Indianapolis area that are going to know where these folks are and where they’ve been staying,” Rosenberg said.
Meanwhile, the Madison County Prosecutor’s Office said the 2018 statute means investigators are no longer just investigating overdoses as medical emergencies, instead now they may be investigated as homicides more often.
Meanwhile, anyone with information in connection to this case is urged to contact CrimeStoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS (8477).