Sister who's challenged brother's suicide ruling sends reports to 500 community leaders


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COLUMBUS, Indiana — The sister of a central Indiana man who has challenged rulings that her brother's death last year was a suicide says she's sent several documents about the investigation to 500 community leaders.

The body of 49-year-old Cary Owsley of Columbus was exhumed this year for a new autopsy after questions were raised about his wife's ex-husband being among the police officers who investigated his April 2013 death.

Cheryl Owsley-Jackson told The Republic she sent information including autopsy reports and scene photos to elected officials, physicians, business executives and attorneys around Columbus. The emails included 32 pages of attached documents.

"Most of those leaders have no idea who to believe when it comes to the death investigation of Cary Owsley," she said. "They literally have never seen the documentation."

A Bartholomew County judge has ruled he saw no reason for further investigation of the case after two pathologists didn't rule out suicide in Owsley's death.

The county sheriff suspended three deputies for "errors in judgment" during the April 2013 death investigation.

While Cary Owsley's death from a gunshot wound to the chest was ruled a suicide, his sister challenged that determination in part because his wife's ex-husband was allowed onto the premises and handled evidence.

Owsley-Jackson and some other family members also have said the deputy's two adult sons had a contentious relationship with their stepfather.

The attorney representing Owsley's widow, Lisa Owsley, said it was clear investigators made the right call when they declared her husband's death a suicide and that the doubts cast on the circumstances have caused her distress.

"Not only did she have to suffer the death of her husband, but right after that, we have this almost national accusation of her and or her son killing Cary Owsley," Mark McNeely told The Indianapolis Star. "She's not been able to go through the grieving process."

The documents sent by Owsley-Jackson included a state-issued outline on protocols concerning when autopsies should be issued in cases of suspected suicide.

"I am not asking for any action or response," Owsley-Jackson said of the email to community leaders. "I am only asking that everyone stand on the side of justice."

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