UPDATED – (3-9-20)
According to the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department web site John Eicher (21) of Berne has been charged with two felony counts – Breaking and Entering (5th degree) and Theft (4th degree). Eicher stole three horses and tack from the Mercer County Fairgrounds, two horses died after the trailer carrying them crashed on Wabash Road.
After being charged in Celina Municipal Court on March 6th (Friday) he was released on bond.
(3-3-20) Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey reports that his office received a call shortly before 7AM today (3-3-2020) of a horse trailer that was in the middle of the road on Wabash Road near Skeels Road. Deputies arrived and found the trailer on its side with two horses inside. Deputies quickly learned that the trailer and horses were stolen from the Mercer County Fairgrounds. The investigation found that a third horse was missing from the fairgrounds as well.
The Sheriff’s Office received numerous tips throughout the day from the community, which led to a suspect. Detectives were able to locate the suspect and he cooperated with the investigation. At this time arrangements are being made to return the third horse to its owner. Several other items were also stolen from the horse barn such as tack, saddle, race cart, wheels, horse shoes, etc. These items are also in the process of being recovered.
Detectives found that the suspect was unfamiliar with the workings of the ball hitch, which is what caused the trailer to come unhooked from the truck and caused the trailer to overturn. Unfortunately the two horses involved in the crash have expired as a result of their injuries.
Arrested was John R Eicher (21) of Berne, Indiana. Eicher was arrested for theft and is currently incarcerated in the Mercer County Adult Detention Facility. Bond has been sent at $100,000.00 subject to 10% by Municipal Court Judge Kathy Speelman.
The case will be sent to Mercer County Prosecutor Matt Fox for review and the possibility of additional charges.
Sheriff Grey would like to thank the community for their tips that were received in this case. Without the help of the community in this matter, this case would have been much harder to solve stated Sheriff Grey.
No other information will be released at this time as the investigation is continuing.