(4-17-21) On Friday April 16th, 2021, the Indiana State Police responded to a rural Henry County farm to investigate the death of a New Castle woman.

Investigators learned that James, 81, and Barbara Smith, 76, were off loading corn from a grain bin located on their farm at 4808 W. State Road 234. At approximately 2:00 pm Mr. Smith called 911 and reported he was unable to locate his wife and believed she may have been trapped inside the grain bin.

First responders searched for two hours before they located Mrs. Smith inside the grain bin, which contained between eight to ten feet of corn. She was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Henry County Coroner.

Accidents associated with grain bins are nothing new. According to researchers at Purdue University, more than 900 cases of grain engulfment have been reported with a fatality rate of 62 percent over the past 50 years. In 2014, as of mid-March, two fatalities and at least two serious injuries have resulted across the nation from grain bin mishaps.

The Indiana State Police will follow up with the Henry County Coroner’s office when further information if made available.

The Indiana State Police was assisted by the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Henry County Coroner’s Officer, and Fire Departments from New Castle, Jefferson Twp. (Sulphur Springs), Harrison Twp. (Cadiz), Adams Twp. (Markleville), Greensboro, Kennard, and Shirley.