Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Detective Elza O'Dell died from gunshot wounds he suffered one week earlier while he and his partner were attempting to arrest a subject.
The officers responded after a female had called police and reported that her ex-husband came to her home and kidnapped their six-month-old daughter at gunpoint.
Shortly thereafter, they found the baby and man four blocks away at an apartment and confronted him. Detective O'Dell was shot in the throat, right leg and three times in the abdomen, and died a week later at Methodist Hospital.
The 38-year-old suspect, who had been shot twice by Detective O'Dell, was charged with first-degree murder. In a death penalty case, he was later convicted of manslaughter in a change of venue to Porter County and sentenced to two to 21 years in prison.
The offender was paroled in 1960 with a condition he return to his native Puerto Rico.
Detective O'Dell was survived by his wife, son, mother and sister.
• Detective O'Dell is the first African-American law enforcement line of duty death in Lake County.