LaPorte County, IN – A routine police detainment took a tragic turn in LaPorte County, leading to a suspect’s death under extraordinary circumstances.
Indiana State Police report that Melissa L. Collins, 21, from Lafayette, IN, managed to escape custody in a marked police vehicle, resulting in a fatal crash. The incident began when Collins, handcuffed and secured in the front seat of a 2021 Ford Explorer police car, manipulated her restraints and commandeered the vehicle.
Despite the immediate pursuit by officers, the stolen police car was lost from sight. It was later discovered in a ditch, submerged in water, near the intersection of 2100 S. and 875 W. This discovery followed after officers noticed debris on the roadway, indicating a high-speed crash. Tragically, Collins was found deceased inside the submerged vehicle.
The investigation, led by the Indiana State Police Lowell Post, is focusing on how Collins was able to gain control of the vehicle and the circumstances leading to the crash. An autopsy is scheduled to be conducted by the LaPorte County Coroner to ascertain the cause and manner of death.