Indiana News

Deputies reopen investigation into 1971 cabin fire in Jackson County

BROWNSTOWN, Ind. (WISH) — More than 50 years later, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office is taking another look at a mysterious cabin fire that killed at least two people.

Investigators with the sheriff’s office want to know what happened on the night of Dec. 18, 1971.

Two people, 17-year-old Stanley Robison and 19-year-old Jerry Autry, were killed in the fire, which occurred about a mile and a half south of Brownstown on State Road 135.

However, a third person, 16-year-old Michael Sewell, was also with them. Investigators say his body was not found and he has not been seen since the fire.

“Several questions have been raised over the years adding to the mystery of the events of that evening,” Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Adam Nicholson said in a statement. “After looking at everything and processing all of the old reports and evidence, the only additional thing we could do would be to exhume the remains of Mr. Autry and Mr. Robison to check for any additional DNA evidence.”

The families of Autry and Robison gave permission for exhumation, which occurred on June 21.

Sheriff Rick Meyer said the case was reopened at the urging of a family member of one of the involved.

The investigation will be aided by the FBI and a professor of biology and anthropology with the University of Indianapolis.