Lafayette, Indiana: A 21-year-old man serving a six year sentence in Tippecanoe County Community Corrections was granted the ability to live at the Home of Hope halfway house under electronic monitoring beginning in March 2021 for a burglary conviction.
On April 19, 2021 he escaped and on April 23 a warrant was issued out of Starke County for his arrest. Now he is back in custody, this time, on charges of murder.
Wednesday morning at approximately 10:45 am law enforcement was called to a residence for a "problem unknown." Inside they found a "gruesome" scene where a woman and three "very young" children had died.
"It was a very gruesome scene in there," Fort Wayne Police Sgt. Jeremy Webb said to reporters later that day. "There are three murdered children. We need the public's help to track down this suspect."
Webb disclosed that Cohen Bennett Hancz-Barron knew the victims, but the nature of that relationship was not disclosed. Officers did state that after speaking with family, they determined that Hancz-Barron was their suspect.
They advised the public that he was believed to have committed the murders between 5 and 6 am that morning before then stealing a black 2010 Ford F150. Police asked for the public's assistance in locating him, but advised that they should "call 911 and let us do our jobs" as he was to be considered "armed and extremely dangerous."
Just after 5 pm that evening, officers were able to confirm that Hancz-Barron had been taken into custody without incident after being located at an apartment complex in Lafayette.
The arrest came as the result of a "joint-effort between FWPD Homicide, Gang and Violent Crimes Unit, Vice and Narcotics Unit, and the Indiana State Police."
Hancz-Barron has been booked in to the Allen County Jail where he is expected to face four murder charges. His court date is not known at this time.
Investigators have not identified the victims or the manner of their death.
A family member of the woman provided a statement to WANE saying, "This is a very devastating time for our family. Please give is time to process the horrific events that have occurred today. Our daughter was a very special person to our family. Please be respectful of our family's privacy at this time."