It’s been more than two months since the charred body of 22-year-old Heather Musick of Muncie was found at the Budget Inn motel, and still, police have not yet ruled the death a homicide.
Daleville Police Chief James King is heading up the investigation into the death and said he’s frustrated that answers are still on hold.
On Nov. 17, firefighters responding to a fire in a room at the Budget Inn found Musick’s body.
The Delaware County coroner had to use dental records to identify the woman.
Her father, Herman Musick, immediately suspected that his daughter had been murdered. Musick said his daughter was a drug addict who surrounded herself with dangerous people.
Musick’s sister, Makensie, said police immediately suspected foul play.
It’s a claim that King won’t confirm.
Nor will he confirm whether or not Heather Musick had drugs in her system at the time of her death. “Until we get all of our reports back, we’re leaving that out right now. There’s some information we don’t want to leak out,” King said Thursday.
King, who said he’s known the family for decades, said he works on Heather Musick’s case “about every day” and isn’t happy that he’s had to wait months to receive reports on the investigation.
King said he didn’t receive the autopsy report until the end of December and is still awaiting an arson investigation report from the state fire marshal’s office.
King said he is treating the death investigation as a homicide, but cannot move forward with the homicide investigation until the fire is ruled an arson or an accident.
“The fire marshal’s report will be big because it will tell us the origin and if electrical is ruled out, and was there any accelerant used. I’m still waiting on his report. It took me forever to get the report back on the autopsy,” he said.
King said his department is interviewing those who will cooperate with police.
Daniel York, the Muncie man who paid for Musick’s stay in the motel room that night, is one person police have not been able to fully question, King said. “That man has actually obtained an attorney. We’d have to go through his attorney to talk to him. His attorney said they’re willing to talk. He was supposed to get back with me, and we’ve not heard from him.”
King said police previously talked to York, but haven’t been able to ask him questions since the day Musick’s body was discovered. “He did talk to us the day of the fire. He was released and when we wanted to bring him back in and talk to him, he obtained an attorney.”
King said he’d like to get answers for the Musick family and didn’t expect the investigation to take so long.
“In something like this, I am surprised that it’s taking so long to get information back,” King said. “I’ve kept in good contact with the family. I’ve known the dad since our high school days. I also went to school with the mom and my kids went to school with Heather. I work on this about every day, but if I’m not getting the reports back, it hampers me at times.”
The Herald Bulletin was unable to reach the state fire marshal’s office or the Musick family at press time.
Contact Brandi Watters: 640-4847, firstname.lastname@example.org