GARY, Ind. — Police in Gary say a potential break in a missing person investigation turned out to be a false alarm.
On Sunday, police were sent to check out what was believed to be a body in a grassy area near 15th Avenue and Lake Street, according to Paul Goddard with Region News Source. A utility worker found a body covered with a green sheet.
The area is a few miles from where the wrecked vehicle of missing Gary woman Ariana Taylor was found on April 3.
RNS confirmed the discovery was made around the same time volunteers and loved ones were nearby searching for Taylor.
Lt. Dawn Westerfield said the body was taken to the Lake County Coroner’s Office, where it was determined to be a “life-sized silicone/rubber type female doll.”
In a statement to RNS, Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. said investigators were overly cautious to “preserve any potential forensic evidence such as hair or fibers or DNA on the sheet. Which is why it was never touched or removed until detective[s], CSI, as well as the coroner’s office could proceed and photograph the scene before moving any body — which is standard procedure.”
Ariana Taylor was last heard from on April 2. She is described as a 23-year-old Black woman. She is approximately 5’6″ tall and 200 pounds. She was last seen wearing a red sweater, ripped blue jeans and gym shoes.
Anyone with information on where she might be is urged to contact Detective Sergeant Mark Salazar with Gary police at 219-881-1209, the Crime Tip Line at 866-CRIME-GP or 911.