Decade old cold case warms-up

Published: Jul. 16, 2007 at 8:04 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 23, 2007 at 11:00 AM CDT
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Andrea Hendrix-Steinert, Photo: Family
Andrea Hendrix-Steinert, Photo: Family

Reporter: Marianne Lyles
New Media Producer: Rachel Beavin

Law enforcement agencies from across the country are taking a closer look at their unsolved murders, after last week's arrest of an alleged serial killer from the Tri-State.

Bruce Mendenhall is believed to have killed six people, and is now being investigated for a seventh murder in 2005 in Tennessee.

Experts say the truck driver could be a suspect in other murders after traveling the country for 18 years.

The FBI has been in contact with Indiana State Police in Evansville, regarding Mendenhall's arrest. Authorities are already tying Mendenhall to a seventh killing, and police aren't sure if there could be more.

Several departments have been contacted because Mendenhall crossed state lines.

The case of Evansville's Andrea Hendrix-Steinert is one murder state police looked over after Mendenhall's arrest.

It's been ten years since 27-year-old Andrea Hendrix's-Steinert's naked body was discovered in a Gibson County ditch.

There have been no arrests and few leads. Her father, Jerry Hendrix, says he is still in pain about her murder, "She was, you know, full of life and spirit."

Detective Alan Scherretz says Steinert had a history of drug abuse and prostitution. She was known to frequent a Fares Avenue gas station.

These details grabbed the attention of authorities recently after the arrest of alleged serial killer Bruce Mendenhall.

Indiana State Police gave the FBI details on the cold case. Soon investigators learned of the differences in Steinert's murder and those of Mendenhall's victims who were shot in the back of the head.

Indiana State Police Detective, Alan Scherretz, says she was killed by strangulation.

This is the second time in two weeks ISP have looked at the Steinert case.

Investigators were also contacted about another truck driver convicted on similar killings, John Robert Williams. But detectives learned Williams was in prison when Steinert was killed.

Detective Scherretz says the investigators must take every avenue possible to solve Steinert's murder, "Anything that could be an additional or new lead you know we want to follow up on it."

Indiana State Police say a new law may also help this case. The law, which went into effect last year, requires felons to submit DNA samples if they were convicted of a sexual or violent crime.