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Editorial: Public service spot on slayings could help


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Two local students have drawn praise from the state attorney general for their work to help police with an unsolved Franklin murder case.

Franklin Community High School students Mason Clark, who graduated this year, and Austin Schmidt, who will be a senior in the fall, helped Franklin police create a public service announcement to try to generate new tips for the murders of Blake and Chynna Dickus.

Police try to remind residents about the gruesome double murder at least once a year. The case also has been featured on billboards and prison playing cards.

Blake Dickus, 10, and his stepmother, Chynna Dickus, 26, were killed on July 24, 2006, in their home in the Branigin Woods subdivision near the high school. Both were stabbed multiple times. Blake Dickus also died from blunt force trauma and asphyxia, according to autopsy reports.

The video announcement includes information about the case, short interviews with Blake Dickus’ mother and grandparents, and information on how to contact police with any information. The video will play at Canary Creek Cinemas in Franklin this summer.

Police hope someone will find the video online or see it at the movies or on TV and call with a tip that will give police new information to investigate. Tips about the case have slowed to a halt since the murder seven years ago.

“Somebody somewhere knows that missing piece of the puzzle that’s going to solve this for us,” Franklin Police Chief Tim O’Sullivan said.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller presented the teens with the Hoosier Hearts Hero award. The honor, which was created last year, recognizes people who make an extraordinary effort to help the victims of crime.

Zoeller thanked Clark and Schmidt for their effort to help the Dickus family and police solve the murder case.

People often focus on the punishment received by those who commit crime and not as often on the people affected, he said.

“It’s the people who are the relatives, the victims, the family, the community, who suffer,” Zoeller said.

We applaud the students’ work and second the state attorney general in praising them. Their work shows that individuals can make a difference in a matter.

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