TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — A suspended Terre Haute firefighter died Thursday before he was scheduled to appear in court on child molestation charges.
Dispatchers received a call around 7:50 a.m. from a man threatening to harm himself. When authorities arrived at the location, Rodger Plunkett II was already dead, according to Vigo County Sheriff John Plasse.
Plunkett was arrested in September on five felony counts of sexual misconduct with a minor under age 14, stemming from incidents as far back as 1998.
Plunkett spent more than a month in jail before posting the required $100,000 cash bond in October. A month after his arrest, the Terre Haute Fire Merit Commission suspended him for a year without pay.
A pretrial conference was scheduled for Thursday, but the hearing was hastily canceled with little explanation provided.
Vigo County Coroner Dr. Susan Amos confirmed Plunkett’s death. A cause will be determined following an autopsy. The Vigo County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident to rule out foul play.