Make your home page

CAMBY, Ind. (WISH) — You know the saying: If you love your job you will never work a day in your life. That was the truth for David Duke, which is why his family decided that he needed to clock in one last time before reaching his final resting place.

Duke spent more than a decade greeting every car that drove through Soft Touch Auto Wash in Camby.

“I met him a little over 11 years ago. He came and applied for the job, filled out an application, came back every other day for about three days and I said, ‘Why don’t you just start,'” said Mike Harrell, owner of Soft Touch Auto Wash.

Mike Harrell (middle), David Duke (right)

Since he started, there have been very few days that he hadn’t at least stopped by the car wash.

“He would find any excuse he could to go there on his days off to you know, check the parking lot for coins and make sure there was no trash anywhere,” said Kristen Driver, David Duke’s daughter.

David passed away unexpectedly last week. When planning his funeral, his daughter wanted to do something special.

David Duke
Photo courtesy: Kristen Driver

“I have this crazy idea. I don’t know if it would be possible, but I am going to go for it,” Driver recalled saying.

So she called the funeral home to arrange it.

“They said that that was the first time that they had ever done that as well as Mike Herrell. He said, ‘I have never done anything like this,'” said Driver.

After the funeral, Duke’s hearse would make a special stop at the place where he spent most of his time and made countless connections.

“Everybody knew him by name. They recognized him when we worked. People have been asking us where he is, and he was just a one-of-a-kind person to have work here,” said Harrell.

Harrell admits he has had plenty of hearses come through his car wash, but this is the first time that it wasn’t empty. He says he was honored to do it for Duke.

“The night before he passed, he had his lunch packed ready to go to work. He had his outfit laid out, and so I wanted to make sure he made it to work,” said Driver.

Driver made a TikTok of that final wash which has now gotten almost 200,000 views.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Millions of dollars in unclaimed money is sitting untouched in Indiana, and some of it could be yours.

The state found more unclaimed money thanks to a partnership and a website state leaders say works well: It’s a one-stop portal for businesses in our state. 

Brent Tilson, president and CEO of Greenwood human relations firm Tilson, explained on Friday how that state website helps streamline business for them.

“We have business in 49 states. We’re in every state except Hawaii. We have to file in all these different states and be compliant. Indiana’s just one of those as well. Indiana was difficult before. It was not an easy process to do,” Tilson said. “Now the whole inbiz platform makes it very easy because I can go on one site, access all the different departments of the state, do my filings, my registrations, my compliance, my reporting.” 

Indiana’s secretary of state said since the state attorney general’s office joined the site, it has collected an extra $40 million in unclaimed property.

Is some of that money yours?

On a whim, just a couple months ago, Hillary Zeigler of Camby searched her name in the unclaimed property list. She could not believe what she saw.

“It was my maiden name. I go, ‘Oh, my gosh! Hillary Tale’s got money!”

She found $915 in unclaimed money waiting for her.

“I already got the check and everything,” Zeigler said. “Cashed it, spent it on new windows for the house!”

Secretary of State Connie Lawson said the state this year required businesses to file their unclaimed property reports through inbiz website. “We increased that amount by $40 million just because bushiness knew that they needed to comply with that. So, that’s been a great advantage.”

But, the website launched in 2016 also helps business owners in others ways, with advice and answers to development questions.

“That’s been going on since July. We’ve been able to help 310 businesses form and create over 1,240 new jobs,” Lawson said. “So, it’s very exciting.” 

CAMBY, Ind. (WISH) — Hope is not often associated with loss, not when there are other feelings so close to a person’s heart. 

“My sensory memory comes back and I can feel her skin on my lips again,” said Sara Christensen as she looked at a picture of her lips touching her daughter’s forehead. 

“I just held her close and wanted to breathe life back into her. You can’t do that as much as your heart feels like it’s going to explode, trying to will something back to life,” she said. 

The life she wanted to breathe back was her daughter’s, Katherine Joy. 

“I just remember being so happy when we found out we were pregnant with her even in the ultrasound you could tell she had a button nose,” said Christensen. 

She said Katherine was her best pregnancy, until it came time for delivery. 

“When we were on our way to the hospital, the pain just got worse and worse and worse and I actually had my husband pull over and make him call an ambulance, and at some point while we were waiting for the ambulance that’s when I believe my uterus ruptured,” said Christensen. 

“They were trying to find her heartbeat and they couldn’t find her heartbeat.”

No heartbeat. And slowly, no hope. 

“I was really just kind of holding on at that point and when they said that she was gone, I was like ‘okay. I can go now, I can die now, too,”‘ she said. 

She held on and got to see her baby girl. 

“As soon as we saw her, she did have a button nose. She was just very beautiful, very, very beautiful baby and just recovering from all of that was very difficult,” said Christensen. 

Losing her, burying her and then hoping people would remember her. 

“My biggest fear has been that nobody else will know her and love her,” she said. 

Her baby’s memory is captured on a wall in their home full of pictures and mementos. 

Her baby’s memory will also live on in boxes that will be delivered to hospitals with the help of an organization called Hope Mommies. 

“Hope Boxes are usually done in honor of a baby who has gone to heaven too soon.”

There’s a scripture card, encouraging note, bath bombs and tea that will be delivered to moms who leave the hospital without their baby. 

“It’s not a magic box that is going to erase their feelings and sadness but it can help bring healing and comfort,” Christensen said. 

It also brings hope from one mom who has experienced loss to another. 

Christensen is hoping to send 20 Hope Boxes to hospitals. You can help her by going to this website and choosing her name, Sara Christensen under the option for “Gatherings Hosted By.”

CAMBY, Ind. (WISH) — A former church camp is now being used to help families experiencing homelessness. 

The organization running the camp says they could use some help to house more families. 

The camp is in Camby and is called Camp Camby. It’s run by a non-profit called Active Grace.

Active Grace opened the 41 acre camp last summer and then opened a food, clothing and sanitation pantry. 

Then the camp started bringing in homeless families that they met while in the community or received referrals for from other organizations and churches. 

There are about 25 families living there now. The families can stay one to two years, ideally. 

There’s a motel they are using as apartments, and cabins that are also housing families. 

They’d like to tear some of those down and build new ones, and are looking for sponsors for that. 

The camp also offers job training, teaching the people who live there skills in transportation, technology, food service and housekeeping. 

“Anything we can help them with a skill and we feel like that’s a great thing we can offer here at the camp and hopefully give them a hand up instead of hand out,” said Ryan Chapman, one of the people who runs the camp.

“It’s been very rewarding, obviously there’s ups and downs and there’s success stories and occasionally we have stories that we’re not so proud of, but it’s, God is good and it’s neat to see his hand in this,” said Amber Chapman. 

If you’d like to help the camp, either through volunteering or donations, click here. 

CAMBY, Ind. (WISH) — The Hamilton County prosecutor has charged Francis Wright, 62, with criminal recklessness, asserting he neglected his firearm in an Ikea store resulting in a young boy opening fire. 

The charge is a Level 6 felony, the most minor of felonies. The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office has not booked Wright into jail and could not provide a booking photograph. 

The incident occurred Monday afternoon when, according to the arrest affidavit, Wright sat down on a couch inside Ikea in Fishers and crossed his legs. He admitted to wearing shorts with shallow pockets and believed his .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun came out of his pocket and lodged in the couch cushions. Later, two 6-year-old boys sat on the same couch and discovered the gun, and one boy fired it into the couch. 

No one was injured in the exchange but the substantial risk of bodily injury to all individuals in the area warranted the charges, according to the affidavit. 

Francis Wright’s wife in Camby declined Thursday to comment on the case. 

Nearby, gun store employees at Bradis Guns said, while they don’t know the details of the case and were not present during the exchange, they always advise their customers to keep control of their firearms and practice common sense. 

“I am not a big ‘pocket carry’ person,” said Sean Straber, an associate at Bradis Guns. “I do not like to carry guns in my pockets because I have things in my pockets.” 

Blaine Koons, Straber’s co-worker, said “I think it’s irresponsible. I don’t understand why you would loosely carry a firearm, a loaded firearm, in your pocket on a daily basis.”

The men said this is not the first time this year they’ve heard of a close call with an unattended firearm. 

“A couple weeks ago somebody had unholstered a firearm and left it in a bathroom at a local restaurant,” Koons said, “and a child ended up finding it and alerting the proper authorities. Luckily nothing bad happened, but it is upsetting that something like that just happens nowadays.” 

When asked about how to safely secure a gun, the employees quickly referred to a variety of holsters that hold the gun securely in place. Straber said the holster should fit so snugly that the gun should stay in the holster when the holster is turned upside-down. 

While there are soft-backed pocket holsters designed for concealed carry, Bradis Guns employees said they recommend a more substantial holster. 

“I’ve carried a firearm for going on seven years now and I’ve never put it in my pocket,” Koons said. “I have a hard plastic Kydex holster with a plastic trigger guard. There’s nothing can set that firearm off incidentally but me.” 

Francis Wright’s next court date is set for July 11 in Hamilton County. 

An Ikea spokesperson provided a statement on the incident Monday, saying the company has a ‘no weapon’ policy and that Ikea employees “took the action they were trained to do to ensure the safety of customers”:

“We take this incident very seriously and we have offered the family of the child involved our sincerest apologies. Safety and security of customers and co-workers is the top priority for IKEA. We have processes in place to ensure that the store is safe for customers and co-workers.  For example,  our store team has regular safety walks and audits which happen before, during and after opening hours. In addition, IKEA has a no weapon policy in our locations to prevent exactly these types of situations.  As soon as we were aware of the situation, our co-workers took the action that they were trained to do to ensure the safety of customers.  We are cooperating with police as they investigate this incident.” 

GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) – A 59-year-old man died in a crash Friday afternoon on State Road 37 in White River Township, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department said.

James J. Moran of Martinsville died in the four-vehicle crash about 2:40 p.m. on the state highway at Fairview Road, about a mile south of the Johnson-Marion county line, said Maj. Duane Burgess with the sheriff’s department.

Moran was driving a red 2006 GMC Sonoma and slowing for a traffic light at the intersection when a white 2006 Kenworth semitractor-trailer struck the rear of the pickup truck. The semi was driven by Michael W. Burke, 59, of Indianapolis. Moran’s truck was forced off the road, rolled over once, struck an light pole and came to rest in a ditch, Burgess said. The tailgate flew off the truck and struck a red 2015 Chevrolet pickup truck stopped at the light and driven by Christopher J. Clements, 48, of Camby. Clements had been waiting to turn left from Fairview Road onto southbound State Road 37.

After hitting the Sonoma, the semi also struck a green 2014 Subaru sport-utility vehicle driven by Jacqueline L. Gordon, 72, of Albion.

The semi driver voluntarily submitted to a blood test; the results are pending. The sheriff’s department is continuing to investigate the accident.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Excavation damage led to a Monday morning house fire in Camby, state regulators said Tuesday.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s pipeline safety division was working to learn whether or not any laws were violated and who was at fault. The commission did not provide any additional details from its investigation.

Comcast, which provides cable TV, internet and telephone services, said in an email that its contractor was on the site for a job that had been pre-approved with Indiana811. That’s an organization that provides a communication link between excavators and operators of underground utilities. Indiana811 had placed paint to indicate where the contractor’s work was to be done. When the contractor’s tech smelled gas, Comcast said, he called 811 immediately to report it.

“We are cooperating with authorities as they complete their investigation,” Comcast said in the email.

Indiana811 said it would not comment on the ongoing investigation.

No one was hurt, but a pet died at the fire in the Walnut Grove neighborhood. Neighbors had reported hearing explosions prior to the fire, which severely damaged one home and damaged the siding of two others.

“I was like, wow, because that could’ve happened to us. We had the same thing done at our house when we moved in. They came out to run wire and buried the wires. So the same thing could’ve happened here,” said Philip Cook, a neighbor.

Cook says he watched the representatives from Indiana811 and the cable company as they worked on his house earlier this year.

“I worried about it because I have heard of that happening before and I went out and looked and actually walked with the guy when he was probing the ground to find out where it went,” said Cook.

He said he was shocked and saddened to hear what happened to his neighbors.

Investigators are still trying to determine who is to blame for the punctured gas line.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Investigators have not yet determined if a gas leak is to blame for a house fire and explosion in Camby on Monday.

However, they say this is a good time to remind people about precautions you should take if you have gas appliances in your home or business.

Gas leaks can be dangerous and can have devastating consequences.

“If it comes in contact with a flame, and it is the right mixture of gas present, then yeah, it could contribute to a fire or an explosion,” said Chief Joel Thacker with the Fire Territory of Plainfield.

Thacker said there are steps you can take to protect yourself.

“There are a variety of reasons why there are gas leaks in the home or the business. Installing new heating units, whether it is new appliances, we want to make sure that those are installed by professionals so that there’s no accidents with the installation that might contribute to a leak,” said Thacker.

He said calling a professional to come check your furnace or other appliances ahead of winter is also a good idea.

“When you kick those on for the first time of the year there’s going to be probably be some dust in there. You might encounter an odor that smells like there’s something burning. If you smell natural gas, we want you to exit the home immediately,” said Thacker.

He said if you do smell gas, it’s important to leave the home or business before doing anything else, and that includes calling 911.

Another easy way to protect yourself is by installing carbon monoxide detectors.

CAMBY, Ind. (WISH)–Investigators are trying to figure out what caused a house fire late Monday morning in Camby after neighbors reported hearing explosions.

No people reported injuries, but firefighters say at least one pet died in the fire on Walnut Grove.

People in the neighborhood praised firefighters for containing the fire, which severely damaged one home and caused damage to the siding of two others.

Investigators said there was a gas leak nearby, but they don’t know if that caused the fire.

Justin Pettet and Emily Buis said they were both asleep when they heard the explosion from a home across the street.

“Really, it sounded like a big car wreck,” Pettet said.

“We thought something fell in the house or something,” Buis said.

Buis said she ran outside and watched the garage door explode on the home. The fire sent five fire agencies to the neighborhood.

“I was just hoping there was nobody in the house,” Buis said.

Firefighters said no people were in the home at the time of the fire. People were sorting through photographs outside the home Monday, trying to salvage whatever was left.

Investigators said they’re working with Vectren Energy Delivery and people in the neighborhood to determine the cause, which could take days.

“We’re getting some statements from people that maybe there was a company knocking on the door as to some work that might have been conducted. We have not identified them, nor did we see anyone on the scene when we arrived,” Plainfield Fire Territory Chief Joel Thacker said.

Firefighters said one dog died in the fire.

The gas leak, according to firefighters, has now been stopped.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Meijer launches home delivery in the Indy metro area Thursday. It’s the next step in the battle between grocery chains to make shopping faster and easier.

Meijer staff say their partnership with Shipt opens up home delivery options at most of the Indy area stores in as little as an hour. Unlike other delivery services that involve multiple people, Meijer says Shipt assigns your order to a personal shopper who will purchase your items and bring the order right to your house.

Meijer’s home delivery will cover about 1,600 square miles, including downtown Indy, Avon, Camby, Greenwood, Noblesville, Plainfield and Zionsville.

The Shipt service will be offered to customers who purchase a $99 annual membership. Members will get unlimited deliveries on grocery orders of $35 or more. There is no delivery fee, but there will be an up-charge on the products.

It’s about a 14 percent difference on prices, so you’ll pay about $35 for groceries that would cost about $30 in store.

You can create orders online or through the Shipt smartphone app. Right now you won’t be able to use your Meijer mPerks on the deliveries, but Meijer officials say they hope to work around that issue soon.

Meijer is the latest store to jump on this trend of virtual grocery shopping. Other Indy retailers such as Marsh, Whole Foods, Costco and even Petco offer home delivery through Instacart.

You can also use Peapod or Indy-based Green Bean Delivery.

Kroger and Wal-Mart are also in on this. Both offer online ordering, but you have to pick up your order at the store. Meijer has a similar option.

Never miss another Facebook post from WISH-TV