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Tennessee man charged in 1992 murders of Gary mom, 4-year-old daughter



MERRILLVILLE, Ind. — A Tennessee man has been charged in the 1992 murders of a Gary woman and her 4-year-old daughter, the FBI said Monday.

Victor Lofton, 57, of Humboldt, Tennessee, was charged Feb. 2 with two counts of murder in Lake County Superior Court. He was arrested Friday in Jackson, Tennessee, and on Monday was awaiting extradition back to Indiana.

Felicia Howard, 21, and DenNisha Howard, 4, were found shot to death on July 15, 1992, in their apartment on Washington Street in Gary.

Felicia Howard, 21, and her 4-year-old daughter, DenNisha Howard, were found shot and killed in their Gary, Indiana, apartment on July 15, 1992. A Tennessee man was arrested Feb. 5, 2021, in their deaths. (Provided Photos/FBI Indianapolis)

The FBI’s Gang Response Investigative Team picked up the investigation of the murders in February 2019. The team, called GRIT, is a group that works to reduce violent crime in northwest Indiana.

Investigators say Lofton was born in East Chicago, Indiana, and moved to Tennessee at an early age. He was interviewed about the murders in September 2020 and denied knowing the Howards or being in Indiana when they were killed. DNA technology and witness interviews helped bring together the case against Lofton, the FBI said.

“This case should serve as notice to those committing violent crimes in Northwest Indiana that the tireless investigators of the FBI’s GRIT Task Force will never rest to ensure justice for those who have been victimized, even if it’s 29 years later,” said FBI Indianapolis GRIT Task Force Supervisory Special Agent Michael Peasley.

According to the FBI, the Howards murders are the ninth cold case solved by the Gang Response Investigative Team since 2018.

Anyone with information about a cold case is asked to call 219-942-4899.

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