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Murder or Suicide?

An Indiana family says they are fighting for justice after the death of their loved one. Investigators say Cary Owsley shot and killed himself with a sheriff deputy's gun. Serious questions are being raised about how the case was handled.

At best, the death of Cary Owsley was a horrible but all too common family tragedy made worse by a shoddy investigation.

At worst, it was a racially charged murder that led to a cover-up.

In the national debate over race and justice re-ignited by the Trayvon Martin case, the death of Cary Owsley has gone largely unnoticed.

"I didn't want to wage some campaign in the middle of our grief where we're out protesting and making signs and demanding to exhume my brother's body.  That's not what we wanted.  We just wanted the truth." Cary Owsley's sister Cheryl Jackson says.

Owsley was found shot to death in his Columbus, Indiana home back in April. The 49 year-old's death was ruled a suicide. Four months later, investigators have admitted mistakes.

The lack of physical evidence to support the coroner's ruling isn't the only problem. Owsley allegedly shot himself in the chest with a gun that belongs to Bartholomew County Deputy Dewayne Janes. 

Janes is the ex-husband of Lisa Owsley - Cary's wife. He was also the first deputy at the scene.

An Indiana State Police investigation into how the case was handled resulted in the suspension of three Bartholomew County Deputies, including Janes. But Columbus authorities maintain Owsley's death was a suicide and consider the case closed. Owsley's family says he was not suicidal.

On the day he died, he called his son to help him move out of the house after complaining about fights with his two stepsons in which they sometimes called him the n-word. The family says they also had to plead with his wife not to cremate his body in hopes of one day having it exhumed.

They say that may be the only way they'll know what happened one day in April.




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