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Helmsburg murder
 
Shootings shock rural Helmsburg
Published on: 11.18.08

HELMSBURG — Suffering from gunshot wounds and unsure if her husband was still alive, Mary Voland drove to her brother’s house to call 911 after two assailants invaded their home.

Voland’s sister-in-law, Mary Jane Richards, heard the taps on her window early Saturday as Voland said she needed an ambulance for her and her husband, Richard “Dude” Voland.

“It was like a dream. I didn’t know if I had really heard her at first,” Richards said.

“She said she needed an ambulance for her and Dude, and that Dude was back at the house. She didn’t know if he was alive.”

Richard Voland, 84, died at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis Sunday from his injuries. Mary Voland, 77, is recovering at the hospital.

Indiana State Police continued the search Monday for the two suspects, described as clean-shaven teenage boys.

ISP Sgt. Curt Durnil said investigators plan to have a sketch artist develop composite drawings of the suspects for public release.

The shooting has alarmed folks who work and live in Helmsburg, about three miles south of the Volands’ small stone house on Lick Creek Road.

“A lot of people are keeping their doors locked,” said Willie Pool, a Fruitdale resident who works in Helmsburg.

The feeling around town reminded some people of when Franklin College student Kelly Eckart’s body was found in rural Brown County in 1997, a short distance from where the Volands lived.

“It doesn’t sound like they had any mercy,” Richards said of the home invasion.

Richard and Mary Voland lived in Brown County their entire lives.

Taped onto a sign at the Helmsburg General Store, a black-and-white picture dated September 1931 shows “Dude” posing with three other young boys.

Mary Voland grew up a quarter mile down the road, at the house where her brother, Charlie, lives, and from where the 911 call was made early Saturday.

Her other brothers live nearby, as do three of the four Voland children.

Richard Voland, an Eli Lilly retiree, was well known for his love for guns and his gun collection.

He loved to target shoot, a hobby he had given up in recent years due to faltering vision, Pool said.

Don Weddle, who works at the Helmsburg General Store, said the brutal assault has shocked the town.

“All the old-timers that were buddies of his, they’re all upset,” he said.

Richard “Dude” Voland, left, as a child in this September 1931 photo hanging in Helmsburg General Store. Others pictured, from left, are Dale Mobely, Marvin “Bull” Raines and Jimmy George.

Information needed

Police are searching for two “clean-shaven” white teenagers as suspects in the home invasion:

Older suspect: Age 18 to 20, dark hair with olive or dark complexion. He also had a wound on one arm.

Younger suspect: Age 14 to 16, light complexion and sandy blond or light-red hair.

To provide information: Indiana State Police Bloomington Post, 800-423-1286 or Brown County Sheriff’s Department, 988-6655.


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