UPDATE: Funke CONVICTED/Kelly Armstrong's Family Outraged Over Travis Funke's Manslaughter Charge: 'That's Not Justice'/Funke Sentenced To 33 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend Kelly Armstrong With A Hammer.

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Normal UPDATE: Funke CONVICTED/Kelly Armstrong's Family Outraged Over Travis Funke's Manslaughter Charge: 'That's Not Justice'/Funke Sentenced To 33 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend Kelly Armstrong With A Hammer.

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:36 am

First Posted: 02/23/2012 11:02 am
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Authorities in north-central Indiana have charged Travis Funke in the death of Kelly Armstrong, a mother of one who was reported missing in September. The latest development, however, is less than ideal, according to family members with whom The Huffington Post spoke.
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"He was charged with voluntary manslaughter. They said her death occurred 'under a sudden heat.' He faces 45 years, with 10 suspended, but could be out in 17. No, that's not justice. That's not justice at all. We still don't even have my sister to bury her," said Armstrong's sister, Kelly Rush.

Armstrong's father, David Armstrong, is equally upset by the manslaughter charge -- something he feels is a slap in the face.

"I just don't think [the authorities] handled this case correctly and properly from the beginning," Armstrong said. "This is not a case of manslaughter. It was premeditated murder."

Armstrong, mother of a 2-year-old son, has been missing since August 2011. She and Funke lived together with their baby. Rush said family members became concerned after not hearing from Armstrong and not getting clear answers from Funke.

Rush said she called the Kokomo Police Department to check on her sister's welfare. After officers were unable to make contact with Armstrong, Rush filed a missing person report on Sept. 26.

"The next day they went to the trailer with a search warrant," David Armstrong said. "They went in the trailer. Kelly was not there but they found blood in the trailer -- supposedly from Funke cutting his wrist. Attorneys I have spoken to since then said that the trailer should have been sealed and considered a crime scene, but [police] did not do that."

Funke, 27, was arrested on an unrelated warrant on Sept. 28. He had been on house arrest for an unrelated case, but allegedly cut off his ankle monitor and had cut one of his wrists several times, causing it to bleed.

"Three days after [Funke's] arrest, some teenagers broke in the back door of their trailer and had a party," Armstrong said. "We don't know what they took. The following week I went to the trailer. There were three policemen there. I asked what they were doing and they said Funke's mom was in the trailer getting some of his stuff. I saw three suitcases sitting in the middle of the floor [and noticed] the washing machine was running."

In a probable cause affidavit filed Tuesday by Howard County Prosecutor Mark McCann, it is stated that investigators interviewed Funke's cellmate on Oct. 7. The man is identified in court documents as Daniel Wagner. The inmate allegedly told police that "Funke told him that he killed Kelly Armstrong and he was concerned about evidence that could still be in their trailer," the affidavit states.

The affidavit makes no mention of an application for a search warrant following Wagner's alleged statements.

On Nov. 2, investigators interviewed a friend of Funke's who said Funke told him he had killed Armstrong with a hammer. The friend said he saw bloodstains in the couple's trailer and said that Funke had asked him to help dispose of evidence. The friend said he refused, according to the affidavit.

After investigators spoke with Funke's friend, they secured a search warrant for the trailer. According to the affidavit, detectives found a green-handled hammer that Funke's friend had described as the alleged murder weapon. Investigators also located "two large dark stains on the carpet in the south bedroom and two large dark stains on the carpet in the living room." The stains were collected and sent off for evidence. It was later revealed the stains were blood that was a 99.9 percent match for Armstrong.

"Why did they wait until November to get a warrant to go in that trailer? Why did they not do anything after his cellmate told them he had confessed? The [blood stains] on the carpet, walls and everything -- those should have been found immediately," David Armstrong said.

Kokomo police declined to discuss details of the case Wednesday and referred calls to McCann, the Howard County Prosecutor. Contacted by The Huffington Post, McCann declined to comment.

According to the affidavit, police interviewed Funke on Jan. 6 with his attorney present. During that interview, he allegedly told investigators he killed Armstrong around the first of July.

"[Funke] stated that he and Kelly had been fighting for three days ... Funke stated that he fell asleep on the couch and he awoke to Kelly hitting the couch with a hammer. Funke stated that he believes that Kelly hit him on the head with the hammer and knocked him out. Funke stated that, when he came to, Kelly was dead on the floor and bleeding from the head. Funke said that he has memories of hitting her in the head with a hammer but thought that it was a dream," the affidavit reads.

Funke allegedly said he placed a plastic bag on Armstrong's head, wrapped her in a tarp and put her in a trash tote. The garbage container was supposedly picked up later that same day.

Looking through records from the trash pickup company, authorities determined Armstrong's body had likely been placed in the trash can on July 8. Investigators checked logs at the Wabash Valley Landfill in Wabash -- the waste facility where the garbage was dumped that day -- and spent six days sifting through 6,000 tons of trash. They were unable to locate Armstrong's remains.

David Armstrong said he doubts Funke's version of events and said he believes police spent nearly a week searching the wrong spot in the landfill. According to Armstrong, his daughter was alive well after July 8. The distraught father said he has proof to back that up.

"We have phone records that show on July 20 [and] 22 and [on] Aug. 2, Kelly called my daughter Shelly," Armstrong said. Because of that information, the dump logs police used to define the search area would have pointed them toward the wrong location, Armstrong explained.

"Police have officially stopped looking for her," Rush added. "My problem is they have not found any part of my sister. They have not found one [human] bone, but they found chicken bones and steak bones."

Rush said she is dismayed by what she perceives as a lack of sensitivity on behalf of members of the police department. She said she experienced insensitivity recently when talking to Kokomo Police Capt. Teresa Galloway.

"Galloway told me I have to accept the fact that I may never find my sister. I told her that was unacceptable and she said I was being unreasonable -- that I cannot expect them to find all of my sister's remains. I said 'I'm not asking you to find all of my sister, I'm asking you to find some of my sister so I can bury her.' She said, 'Well this is the way things are going to be and you're just going to have to accept the facts.'"

Galloway did not deny making the statement to Rush.

"Well, that's always a possibility ... that you might not find somebody," Galloway told HuffPost.

According to Kelly Jolkowski, president and founder of the Omaha, Neb.-based nonprofit Project Jason, it is not uncommon to see an emotional disconnect occur between law enforcement and families of the missing.

"It's something we hear about now and then," said Jolkowski, whose organization assists the families of missing adults and children.

"There is a tremendous amount of emotion involved in a missing person case," Jolkowski continued. "Authorities really need to think about what they are saying before they say it. They should ask themselves, 'Is it a helpful statement? Is it a harmful statement? Is it potentially harmful?' If so, let's not say it. There is a balance that can be struck between providing the information needed and considering the emotional state of the families," Jolkowski said.

Incidentally, Jolkowski is currently attending a conference about missing persons being held at Fox Valley Technical Institute in Wisconsin. The conference provides training for law enforcement and those who work on behalf of the families of missing persons.

"Sensitivity training should be required for all members of law enforcement," Jolkowski said. "Law enforcement will then be able to better understand what families can be going through."

While Armstrong's family is upset about the way their loved one's case has been handled, they are more concerned right now with locating her remains.

"She is laying out there somewhere and we need to find her," Rush said. "It's going to cost my family a lot of money to bring in professionals to continue searching, but we have to do it."

People interested in helping search or donating funds can do so at Operationfindkelly.yolasite.com. The family also maintains a Facebook page devoted to the case.

Funke, who is being held on a $500,000 bond, will appear in Howard Superior Court on Feb. 28 to face his voluntary manslaughter charge.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Kokomo police at 765-459-5101.

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Funke CONVICTED/Kelly Armstrong's Family Outraged Over Travis Funke's Manslaughter Charge: 'That's Not Justice'/Funke Sentenced To 33 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend Kelly Armstrong With A Hammer.

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:41 am

Docs: Boyfriend killed missing woman Kelly Armstrong with hammer

Travis Funke faces voluntary manslaughter charge

Updated: Tuesday, 21 Feb 2012, 8:13 PM EST
Published : Tuesday, 21 Feb 2012, 2:30 PM EST

KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) - A Kokomo man is facing a charge of voluntary manslaughter after police say he killed missing woman Kelly Armstrong with a hammer.

Travis Funke, 34, will appear in court next week to face his new charge.

Armstrong was reported missing in late September after family members became concerned about her whereabouts.

Funke told investigators on Jan. 6 that he killed Armstrong after a three-day argument over prescription pills, according to the probable cause affidavit. He said he fell asleep on the couch and awoke to Armstrong hitting the couch with a hammer. Funke went on to say he thought Armstrong hit him with the hammer, knocking him unconscious, and he had blurry memories of hitting her in the head with a hammer. At the time, he said he thought it was a dream.

Armstrong’s body was put in a trash container by the road and picked up a short time later, Funke told police in the same interview. Police searched a Wabash County landfill earlier this month. In court documents released Tuesday, investigators say the search was unsuccessful.

Based on the interview with police, investigators believe Armstrong died around July 8.

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Funke CONVICTED/Kelly Armstrong's Family Outraged Over Travis Funke's Manslaughter Charge: 'That's Not Justice'/Funke Sentenced To 33 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend Kelly Armstrong With A Hammer.

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:42 am

Kokomo man charged in death of missing woman
by Scott Smith
For the Pharos-Tribune

KOKOMO — Prosecutors charged Travis Funke with voluntary manslaughter Tuesday in the death of missing Kokomo resident Kelly Armstrong.

Armstrong, who attended high school in Logansport, had been reported missing in late September. Family members held a vigil for her at Logansport's Vineyard Community Church in October, but police now believe she was killed in July.

Police are relying on a confession obtained from the 34-year-old Funke in January, after a search warrant uncovered evidence of Armstrong’s blood in a residence she shared with Funke.

Funke told police he believes he killed 27-year-old Armstrong with a hammer after she attacked him. According to the affidavit, Funke told police he’d been fighting with Armstrong over drugs. He said he believed that at one point, she’d hit him with a hammer, knocking him out.

“Funke stated that when he came to, Kelly was dead on the floor and bleeding from the head," the affidavit states. "Funke said that he has memories of hitting her in the head with the hammer, but thought it was dream.”

Police said Funke wrapped the body in a tarp and put the body in a trash tote, which was picked up July 8.

Investigators began searching the Wabash Valley Landfill in Wabash on Jan. 23, based on Wabash Valley’s records of where Kokomo trash picked up July 8 was eventually dumped. Investigators searched for six days, but failed to find Armstrong’s remains.

Last week, Armstrong’s father, David Armstrong, accused police of searching in the wrong area, saying family members had spoken with Kelly Armstrong after the supposed early July period when Funke claims to have killed her.

David Armstrong also accused police of botching the investigation, by waiting months before obtaining a search warrant for the trailer on North Apperson Way.

Both police and Howard County Prosecutor Mark McCann declined to respond to those statements.

Armstrong’s sister, Shelly Rush, reported her missing Sept. 26, and told police she’d tried to contact her sister several times at the trailer that Armstrong shared with Funke.

Each time, the sister told police, Funke had said Armstrong wasn’t home.

When police went to talk to Funke, they learned he was supposed to be on in-home detention out of Marshall County. The police eventually found Funke the next day, Sept. 27, “hiding in a bedroom” on East Fishcher Street. According to police, Funke had cut off his monitoring anklet, and “had also cut his left wrist several times, causing it to bleed.”

In October, a cellmate at the Howard County jail told police Funke had confessed to killing Armstrong.

Then in November, police talked to an associate of Funke’s who also claimed Funke had confessed, and said he’d been inside the trailer on North Apperson, and had observed blood stains. He said Funke had taken out a hammer, and then proceeded to claim he’d used it to kill Armstrong. He said Funke had asked him for help in destroying the blood evidence.

After that interview, police obtained a search warrant for the trailer, and found Armstrong’s blood. Funke has been in custody since Nov. 10, when he was arrested on an unrelated felony warrant.

According to the charge against Funke, prosecutors are claiming Funke acted “under a sudden heat” and killed Armstrong with a hammer. If convicted, Funke could face a sentence of 20 to 50 years in prison.

His initial hearing on the charge is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Feb. 28 in Howard Superior Court 2.

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Funke CONVICTED/Kelly Armstrong's Family Outraged Over Travis Funke's Manslaughter Charge: 'That's Not Justice'/Funke Sentenced To 33 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend Kelly Armstrong With A Hammer.

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:46 am

Kelly Armstrong: Police won't retrieve body from landfill, family has to pay

The family of Kelly Armstrong finally know what has happened to her, but there is little relief.

Travis Funke, Kelly's boyfriend that confessed to killing Kelly from Kokomo, Indiana with a hammer and putting her body in a trash was charged on Thursday, with voluntary manslaughter.

"He faces 45 years, with 10 suspended, but could be out in 17. No, that's not justice. That's not justice at all. We still don't even have my sister to bury her," said Shelly Rush, Kelly's sister tells the Huffington Post.

Although, Funke has told the police what happened to Kelly, her remains are still laying in the Wabash Valley landfill, and the police have closed the case and will no longer look for her.

"Galloway (Kokomo Police Capt. Teresa Galloway) told me I have to accept the fact that I may never find my sister. I told her that was unacceptable and she said I was being unreasonable, that I cannot expect them to find all of my sister's remains. I said 'I'm not asking you to find all of my sister, I'm asking you to find some of my sister so I can bury her." She said, 'Well, this is the way things are going to be and you're just going to have to accept the facts,'" said Rush to the Huffington Post.
(Who does this remind you of??)

Now, the Armstrong family will have to come up with the money to continue with the search for their daughter in the Wabash Valley landfill. To bring in a professional group it will cost $7,000 a day.

"She is laying out there somewhere and we need to find her. It's going to cost my family a lot of money to bring in professionals to continue searching, but we have to do it," David Armstrong, Kelly's father told the Huffington Post.

There is no doubt they have to do it. If you knew your child was laying in a landfill, you would do whatever it took to bring her home.

Many missing person advocates and agencies are outraged by the thought that the family will be held financially responsible to find their child.

"So are we mad enough to DO something about it? I AM. It will start with a phone call to the chief. Then it will be an article. Then we will reach out to SAR organizations for help or deep discounts. Kelly's family needs help," posted Erica Morse-Boddorf, Editor in Chief at MissingPersonsNews.com, on the Missing Persons of America Fanpage.

Another post states, "That should be part of the investigation whether it is for a missing persons or a kidnapping/murder the police should be searching the landfill for the body not making the family pay to have it done," said Johnny Huber.

"The authorities say they do not have the funds and resource to continue their efforts. They family wants to continue the search, but yes it does cost.. The landfill owner will have to shut down the landfill which will cost the family thousands of dollars a day. We are in contact with a professional team, but the cost to shut the landfill down will be very expensive," said Charity Gable, Shelly's cousin.

Continue reading on Examiner.com Kelly Armstrong: Police won't retrieve body from landfill, family has to pay - National missing persons | Examiner.com [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

This is OUTRAGEOUS! I am wondering if they can reach Tim Miller to help them. In fact, I am going to suggest it. This, in many aspects, reminds me of Faith. Seems LE simply will NOT do any more in either case! It\\'s Not Fair

Armstrong link for donations to help search the landfill.
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Normal Re: UPDATE: Funke CONVICTED/Kelly Armstrong's Family Outraged Over Travis Funke's Manslaughter Charge: 'That's Not Justice'/Funke Sentenced To 33 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend Kelly Armstrong With A Hammer.

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:48 am

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Funke CONVICTED/Kelly Armstrong's Family Outraged Over Travis Funke's Manslaughter Charge: 'That's Not Justice'/Funke Sentenced To 33 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend Kelly Armstrong With A Hammer.

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:38 am

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Funke CONVICTED/Kelly Armstrong's Family Outraged Over Travis Funke's Manslaughter Charge: 'That's Not Justice'/Funke Sentenced To 33 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend Kelly Armstrong With A Hammer.

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:37 pm

March 30, 2012

Dinner to raise money to find Kelly Armstrong
Boyfriend charged in death, family frustrated by investigation

By Jake Bolitho
Pharos-Tribune

LOGANSPORT — There is no doubt in David Armstrong’s mind that he will soon find his missing daughter.

But to do that, he and the rest of Kelly Armstrong’s family are looking for help from the community.

The former Logansport High School student was reported missing last September at the age of 27, and police have charged her boyfriend in her death.

But her body has not been recovered, despite a six-day search conducted by police of a Wabash County landfill in January.

Armstrong’s family hopes to use money raised at a chili benefit dinner Saturday to help pay for a professional search team, David Armstrong said.

“They searched for six days, and that’s it,” he said. “That’s why the family has to do this. The Kokomo police have told us lies and something different each time.”


The father’s frustration stems from more than the search efforts, though. David Armstrong is also upset by various parts of the investigation, including the exact day police say they believe Armstrong was killed, and the charging of her boyfriend, Travis Funke, with voluntary manslaughter rather than murder.

Attempts to reach Kokomo Police Chief Robert Baker and a captain who handled the case were not successful Thursday.

Police have said Funke confessed in January to killing Armstrong during a fight.

According to the police investigation, Funke said he believed Armstrong knocked him out with a hammer. According to that same account, Funke said he woke up to find his girlfriend dead on the floor, and that he remembered hitting her in the head with the same hammer, but thought he dreamt it.

David Armstrong has dismissed allegations that his daughter ever struck Funke. And he said the manslaughter charge is unacceptable.

“He should have been charged with murder,” David Armstrong said.

Police say Funke admitted to killing Kelly Armstrong on July 8, wrapping her body in a tarp and placing it in a trash tote. They focused their January search of Wabash Valley Landfill based on records of where Kokomo trash picked up that day was dumped.

Investigators reported going through 6,000 tons of trash without finding the woman’s body.

But the family does not believe Armstrong was killed July 8.

Her father said Shelly Rush, Kelly’s sister, had talked to her on the phone multiple times after that date and as late as Aug. 2.

The family has been in contact with professional search teams from multiple states that are equipped with sonar technology. Such teams would cost the family about $7,000 a day.

A benefit dinner has already been held in Kokomo, and Saturday’s event in Logansport will include a silent auction, food and other activities. All proceeds will go toward the family’s search efforts and memorial services.

David Armstrong said the relationship between him and Kelly was strained in the months leading up to her disappearance. Although the two were not speaking frequently at the time, he just wants his daughter back.

“We just want to bring her home and find her a final resting place,” he said.

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This is a Travesty!! He's admitted to it and they are not charging him w/murder? And, LE has stopped looking? Reminds me in many ways of Faith's case. angry

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Funke CONVICTED/Kelly Armstrong's Family Outraged Over Travis Funke's Manslaughter Charge: 'That's Not Justice'/Funke Sentenced To 33 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend Kelly Armstrong With A Hammer.

Post by Wrapitup on Tue May 01, 2012 11:03 am

Possible human remains found in Wildcat Creek in Kokomo

By Aishah Hasnie
11:08 p.m. EDT, April 30, 2012

Kokomo, Ind.
Kokomo police will send possible human remains found in Wildcat Creek to the forensics labs at IUPUI, Tuesday morning.

Investigators are hoping to learn if the remains are human and if so, whom they belong to.

Police said a man fishing in the creek, Monday afternoon, found the remains near the McCann Street bridge.

Currently, the only open missing persons case at the Kokomo Police Department is for 28-year-old Kelly Armstrong.

Armstrong disappeared last fall. Earlier this year, a murder confession by her boyfriend Travis Funke led police to the Wabash Valley landfill. Searchers did not find her. Her parents do not believe she is there, because they said Funke has repeatedly changed his story.

"He's a liar. A habitual liar,” said Teresa Edwards, Armstrong’s mother.

Funke, 34, has been charged with voluntary manslaughter.

Armstrong’s family was at the creek Monday evening, and told Fox59 that police are analyzing a skull and a jawbone. They hope the remains belong to the missing mother, but they said police have doubts.

"They say it's kind of like an older skull that could be something from a test lab or something from a school or something like that because supposedly it has holes in it or something," said David Armstrong, Armstrong’s father.

He added that police told him there was also no teeth found with the skull. Police would not confirm any of those details.

"I'm just hoping and praying that it is her," said David Armstrong.

If it’s not, he said, "Then we still look. We will find her."

Police hope to find out if the remains are human by the end of the day Tuesday. If they are, they will request DNA tests to find a match. In the meantime, they may return to the creek soon to search for more clues.

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Normal ‘Heat of passion’ charge outrages family

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:57 pm

Posted: Thursday, June 21, 2012 12:00 am
By Jessie Hellman

As the pretrial hearing for an alleged murderer loomed, so did the victim’s family outside of the Howard County Courthouse carrying neon signs that scream for justice.

Travis Funke, 34, attended a pre-trial hearing June 12 and faces voluntary manslaughter charges for the alleged killing of 27-year-old Kelly Armstrong, who has been missing since August.

During the hearing, it was established that the jury trial for Funke would be July 3 at 1:30 p.m., and the deadline to file motion or continue the plea agreement is June 22 at noon.

Kelly’s family gathered outside of the courthouse Monday to protest Funke’s voluntary manslaughter charge and said it should be escalated to a murder charge.

“We’re out here trying to seek justice for my daughter’s murder,” said Dave Armstrong, Kelly’s father. “The guy has confessed to brutally murdering my daughter with a hammer, and they only want to file a manslaughter charge against him.”

Voluntary manslaughter, sometimes called a “heat of passion” crime is a Class A felony.

Kokomo police searched a Wabash County landfill in February after Funke confessed to killing Kelly and dumping her body in a landfill. The police didn’t find anything.

“He still hasn’t told us where the body is at,” Dave said. “We just feel that if you kill someone, it’s not manslaughter; it’s murder. A manslaughter charge, I just don’t agree with. We’re out here just trying to seek some justice and give the public awareness about what this prosecutor and police department are about.”

Dave said the Kokomo Police Department has “botched” the investigation from the beginning.

Charity Grable, Kelly’s cousin, stood at the corner by the court house and held a neon yellow sign that read “Justice for Kelly,” and that’s exactly what she wants -- justice.

“I’m out here to get justice for Kelly. The community needs to know what’s going on,” she said. “The Kokomo Police Department hasn’t really supported my family as much as I think they should. They need to put more pressure on (Funke) to tell us where she is at so we can get her and bring her home,” Grable said. “I ask the community to listen to our call for help and to help us find Kelly and bring her justice.”

Lee Schoenradt, a friend of Kelly’s, joined the family holding a sign that said “KPD, why believe the murderer?”
“I’m here to support Shelly (Kelly’s sister) in finding her sister because no one deserves to lose their sister,” he said. “I do hope we get justice for Kelly because Shelly has been through so much since a year ago. She deserves it. Kelly deserves it. Her father deserves it. That’s what we need.”

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Funke CONVICTED/Kelly Armstrong's Family Outraged Over Travis Funke's Manslaughter Charge: 'That's Not Justice'/Funke Sentenced To 33 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend Kelly Armstrong With A Hammer.

Post by lisette on Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:33 pm

“We’re out here trying to seek justice for my daughter’s murder,” said Dave Armstrong, Kelly’s father. “The guy has confessed to brutally murdering my daughter with a hammer, and they only want to file a manslaughter charge against him.”

I totally agree and sympathize with this family! It is outrageous that they are not charging this scumbag with murder! Without a body, he can tell any story he wants to...They shouldn't base the charge on HIS account of what happened. She's gone, he confessed to killing her...We only have his word that it was in the "heat of passion." I can't understand why they didn't charge him at least with second degree murder--why just voluntary manslaughter? pulling hair
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Normal Re: UPDATE: Funke CONVICTED/Kelly Armstrong's Family Outraged Over Travis Funke's Manslaughter Charge: 'That's Not Justice'/Funke Sentenced To 33 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend Kelly Armstrong With A Hammer.

Post by raine1953 on Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:06 pm

Something is very wrong here. Manslaughter? He confessed to viciously murdering her, he needs to be put away for the rest of his life so he cannot do this to another person but surely manslaughter won't keep him locked up forever!
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Normal Man May Reveal Details In Missing Woman's Slaying/Travis Funke Reaches Plea Deal In Girlfriend's Death

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:01 pm

POSTED: 11:03 am EDT June 28, 2012
UPDATED: 11:17 am EDT June 28, 2012

KOKOMO, Ind. -- A man who admitted to beating his girlfriend to death with a hammer and throwing her body in the trash must reveal what he knows about her remains as part of a plea deal.

Travis Funke, 34, of Kokomo, was scheduled to stand trial next week on a charge of voluntary manslaughter in the 2011 slaying of Kelly Armstrong, 28.

According to court documents filed Wednesday, Funke has agreed to a 35-year prison term in exchange for a guilty plea.

He must also make a full statement, under oath, as to Armstrong's whereabouts and death.

Armstrong's family reported her missing in September 2011 after she hadn't been heard from in months, and they said Funke, her live-in boyfriend, began acting evasive.

Shortly after police talked with Funke, he cut off his home detention monitor and tried to commit suicide, according to a probable cause affidavit.

While in jail on charges related to cutting his anklet, he told his cellmate that he had killed Armstrong with a hammer and that he was concerned about evidence that could still be in the couple's mobile home, police said.

When police searched the home, they found a hammer covered with blood and several large blood stains on the carpet, furniture and walls, according to the affidavit.

Using DNA collected from Armstrong's parents, a lab confirmed that the blood was a 99.9 percent match for Armstrong.

When investigators interviewed Funke again in January 2012, he admitted to killing Armstrong in the couple's trailer on July 8, police said.

He told investigators that Armstrong threatened him with a hammer during a fight, and that he took it from her and beat her repeatedly, according to the affidavit.

Funke said he then took a nap and thought the beating had been a dream until he awoke to find Armstrong dead on the floor, according to the affidavit.

Funke said he put Armstrong's body in a trash bin, which was picked up a short time later, and tried to clean up the blood with bleach.

Police tracked the trash to the Wabash Valley Landfill, where they spent six days searching through 6,000 tons of trash. No remains were found.

Funke's plea agreement must still be approved by Howard Superior Court 2 Judge Brant Parry.

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Funke CONVICTED/Kelly Armstrong's Family Outraged Over Travis Funke's Manslaughter Charge: 'That's Not Justice'/Funke Sentenced To 33 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend Kelly Armstrong With A Hammer.

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:27 am

Father Of Slain Woman: 'This Is Not Over'

Plea Deal Would Give Child Custody To Woman's Confessed Killer

POSTED: 10:03 pm EDT July 31, 2012

LOGANSPORT, Ind. -- Howard County prosecutors said Travis Funke confessed to killing his girlfriend Kelly Armstrong, but as part of a plea agreement, they're recommending his family get custody of Armstrong and Funke's child.

"I'm extremely upset," said David Armstrong, Kelly Armstrong's father. "This is not over by a long chance. This is not over until she's found."

For almost a year, the family's search has taken them to rural areas in Howard County and to snow-covered landfills, but there is still no sign of the mother of four.

"I was thinking, 'OK, well we're finally going to have some closure, at least I can lay my daughter to rest,'" David Armstrong said. "I could put a headstone, plant some flowers, you know, I could go visit her. But... they didn't find anything."

''I'm led to believe Kelly is in water," he continued. "Travis doesn't want her found, because that puts somebody else on the table. He had to have help to get rid of her body. He did not put her in that dumpster."
Kelly Armstrong's family said they're upset about the terms of the plea agreement. Kelly Armstrong and Funke have a 2-year-old-son, and the deal recommends the child go to Funke's family.

Even though the prosecutor has recommended the child go with Funke's family, state officials said much more will go into the final decision.

"It doesn't matter whether it's from the father's side or the mother's side, we try and make the best recommendation based on what we have determined for that child," said John Ryan, the Indiana Department of Child Services chief of staff.

"I never get to see Kelly again, so why should he get to see his son?" David Armstrong said. "He took a life, he needs to give something up. I'm never going to see Kelly again, but I need to be able to speak to her, I need to be able to go visit her."

Ultimately, a judge will make the decision on whether to accept the plea deal. A hearing is set for Aug. 7. If the deal is accepted, Funke will serve 35 years in prison.

"No, that's not enough," David Armstrong said. "He took a life, he needs to give his. He needs to spend the rest of his life, he needs to die in prison."

The 2-year-old is currently in foster care.

"Where is Dylan going to get the counseling he's going to need later on in life, because the Funke family has covered for this, and covered for this and covered for this? They know what happened," said David Armstrong.

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Normal Father claims prosecutor failed to tell family about killer's plea deal/A family said they found out about their daughter's killer accepting a plea deal by reading the newspaper.

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:06 am

By Fox59
9:59 p.m. EDT, August 1, 2012

Indianapolis

A family said they found out about their daughter's killer accepting a plea deal by reading the newspaper.

Kelly Armstrong's father said he never heard about Travis Funke accepting a plea deal with Howard County prosecutors. In it, Funke admitted to killing Armstrong last July in Kokomo.

Armstrong's father said prosecutors broke Indiana code by not telling them, and is going to take this to the Indiana Supreme Court.

As part of the plea deal, Funke must say under oath where Armstrong’s body is located. He will receive 35 years in prison.

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Funke CONVICTED/Kelly Armstrong's Family Outraged Over Travis Funke's Manslaughter Charge: 'That's Not Justice'/Funke Sentenced To 33 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend Kelly Armstrong With A Hammer.

Post by Guest on Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:13 pm

Armstrong's father said prosecutors broke Indiana code by not telling them, and is going to take this to the Indiana Supreme Court.
Bravo
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Normal Re: UPDATE: Funke CONVICTED/Kelly Armstrong's Family Outraged Over Travis Funke's Manslaughter Charge: 'That's Not Justice'/Funke Sentenced To 33 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend Kelly Armstrong With A Hammer.

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:44 am

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Normal This is prior to her being found, but it's a great video

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:39 am


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Normal Prosecutors to make rare arguments in plea hearing

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Aug 04, 2012 2:03 pm

Updated 8:05 a.m., Saturday, August 4, 2012

KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) — Prosecutors pushing for a plea deal for a Kokomo man accused of killing his girlfriend during an argument over drugs will make their case to a Howard County judge.

Howard County Prosecutor Mark McCann said he plans to have a "full evidentiary hearing" with arguments supporting the plea agreement for Travis Funke before a judge decides whether to accept it.

It's an unusual step for a plea hearing. Typically, victims and their families are given the opportunity to be heard in plea hearings, but prosecutors seldom explain their reasons for supporting an agreement.

The family of Kelly Armstrong, Funke's girlfriend, initially signed on to the agreement. But Teresa Edwards, Armstrong's mother, said she now wants the deal scrapped because it calls for prosecutors to recommend that custody of the couple's 2-year-old son be awarded to Funke's relatives.

The child is currently in foster care.

Howard Superior Court Judge Brant Parry must approve the deal.

McCann would not elaborate on his planned arguments. "There will be a lot of information presented in court on Tuesday," he told the Kokomo Tribune (http://bit.ly/MyL2cg ).

Funke would serve 35 years in prison and 15 years on supervised probation under the plea deal. He also would be required to give a full, truthful, sworn accounting of what happened to Armstrong.

Police found a large amount of blood soaked into the floorboards of a trailer Armstrong shared with Funke prior to her disappearance last summer.

Funke has told police he killed Armstrong in July 2011 after they argued over drugs, then put her body in a trash bin. Her body has never been found. He is charged with voluntary manslaughter and is being held in the Howard County jail.

McCann said Armstrong's family would be called to testify during the plea hearing.

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Normal Plea deal withdrawn for man who admitted to killing Kokomo woman/Fox59 has learned that the plea deal has been withdrawn in the case of a man who admitted to killing a Kokomo woman.

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:34 pm

By Fox59
1:52 p.m. EDT, August 7, 2012

Kokomo, Ind.

Fox59 has learned that the plea deal has been withdrawn in the case of a man who admitted to killing a Kokomo woman.

Fox59’s Zach Myers confirmed the information Tuesday in the case of Travis Funke.

In June, Funke agreed to a plea deal just a week before he was set to go to trial. The agreement included a 35-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter in the death of Kelly Armstrong. Her remains have never been found.

Armstrong’s family protested Tuesday outside the Howard County Courthouse, where Funke was waiting for a judge to approve his plea deal. Instead, that deal was withdrawn.

The prosecutor cited the family's unhappiness with the deal and filed a motion to withdraw it. The case will go to trial. The trial date is August 21, but it's expected to be continued to January.

Armstrong’s family said they don’t believe Funke’s story about what happened to Armstrong, who disappeared last fall. A previous search of a landfill turned up no sign of the woman's remains. Armstrong's parents don't believe Armstrong's remains are there. They said Funke has repeatedly changed his story.

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Funke CONVICTED/Kelly Armstrong's Family Outraged Over Travis Funke's Manslaughter Charge: 'That's Not Justice'/Funke Sentenced To 33 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend Kelly Armstrong With A Hammer.

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:50 pm

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Normal Days after plea revoked, murder charge filed against Travis Funke/Prosecutor files upgraded charge in the death of Kelly Armstrong

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:37 am

By Mike Fletcher
Tribune crime reporter

A voluntary manslaughter charge against the former boyfriend of a missing woman has been upgraded to murder, Howard County Prosecutor Mark McCann said Friday.

Pressure from the family of Kelly Armstrong, a Kokomo woman who was reported missing in September, prompted McCann to additionally charge Travis Funke with murder, the prosecutor said.

Howard Superior Court 2 Judge Brant Parry confirmed the murder charge was filed Friday and set an initial hearing for Tuesday.

Without a body, McCann originally charged Funke with voluntary manslaughter. Funke confessed to killing Armstrong and putting her body in a curb-side trash tote, according to court records.

Police searched Wabash landfill in January but her body was never found.

As the case neared a trial, McCann elected to file a plea bargain, which would have resulted in Funke receiving 35 years in prison and then 15 years of probation.

That plea was withdrawn after the family publicly expressed its disapproval.

With the plea revoked, a jury trial was set for Aug. 21.

In another twist to the case, David Armstrong, Kelly’s father, filed a motion to expel McCann as prosecutor in the case.

Armstrong said in an interview Friday that McCann violated the portion of Indiana code that deals with plea agreements for defendants.

“He did not inform the family of the contents of the plea filed Sept. 23 and we were not advised of [Funke’s] confession until Jan. 9,” Armstrong said.

“This case is so screwed up,” he said. “Something needs to be done.”

McCann acknowledged the motion, but would not comment.

During the plea hearing Wednesday, McCann advised the court he notified the victim’s mother of the plea prior to it being filed. According to state law, if a victim is deceased, a prosecutor is required to notify at least one family member.

Court records show that Funke didn’t admit to police that he killed Armstrong until a Jan. 6 interview. The initial plea was filed June 27, according to court records.

When first questioned in September, Funke denied any involvement. Police later arrested him on charges that he violated his in-home detention out of Marshall County. He was incarcerated at the Howard County jail.

Then in October, investigators were contacted by jail staff after an inmate said Funke admitted to killing Armstrong, according to court records.

Investigators corroborate the inmate’s statements in November when a friend of Funke’s told police Funke had told them he killed Armstrong.

Police then obtained a search warrant for Armstrong’s trailer, where they found blood stains on the carpet in the bedroom and living room. DNA tests showed the blood belonged to Kelly Armstrong, court records showed.

On Jan. 6, investigators interviewed Funke with his attorney present. That’s when Funke told police he killed Kelly.

According to his statement to police, Funke said he believes Armstrong hit him in the head with a hammer and knocked him out after an argument. When he came to, he said he found Armstrong dead on the floor and bleeding from her head. He also told police that he has memories of hitting her in the head, but thought it was a dream, the court documents state.

Funke went on to say he put a plastic bag over Armstrong’s head, wrapped her in a tarp and put her body in a trash tote, according to court documents.

Investigators then contacted the Kokomo Street Department and learned that trash from the residence was picked up July 8, 2011 and taken to Wabash Valley Landfill.

On Jan. 23, officers searched Wabash Valley Landfill in Wabash for the remains. Investigators searched for six days and went through approximately 6,000 tons of trash, but did not find her body, police reported.

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Funke CONVICTED/Kelly Armstrong's Family Outraged Over Travis Funke's Manslaughter Charge: 'That's Not Justice'/Funke Sentenced To 33 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend Kelly Armstrong With A Hammer.

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:44 am

Man charged with missing girlfriend's murder after ‘wrapping plastic bag over her head and dumping body in the trash’

Kelly Anderson, 28, went missing in August 2011 from her trailer home in Kokomo, Indiana

She shared the trailer with boyfriend Travis Funke, now 34, who was the father of her young child.

Funke was arrested in September on unrelated charges and Admitted to police that he killed Anderson in July. He said they had been fighting for days 'over prescription drugs' and he woke up with her hitting the couch with a hammer before he turned on her and put a plastic bag over her head,

He thought that he dreamed the whole incident up.

By MEGHAN KENEALLY

PUBLISHED: 18:17 EST, 12 August 2012 | UPDATED: 19:52 EST, 12 August 2012

The live-in boyfriend of an Indiana mom who disappeared last year has been charged with her murder even though the woman’s body has never been found.

The alarm was only raised about Kelly Armstrong, 28, when her sister conducted her own search after not having heard from her in weeks.

Armstrong’s boyfriend and father of her child, Travis Funke, now 34, eventually confessed to police that he killed Armstrong by hitting her in the head with a hammer but he thought it was all a dream.

Missing: Though Kelly Armstrong's boyfriend admitted that he killed her, no physical evidence has ever been found except from some blood stains on the carpeting of the Indiana trailer the couple shared.

The case against Funke has been complicated as police have been reluctant to follow up due to a lack of hard evidence- and diminishing resources. (Who does this remind you of?)

The latest change has been an upgrade in Funke’s charge, as he originally faced a voluntary manslaughter charge but now heads to court with a full murder charge.

Adding to the problematic twists in the case is the well-being of Armstrong and Funke’s child, who has been in care of Armstrong’s family since Funke was arrested for an unrelated crime in late September of last year.

Armstrong’s sister Shelly Rush travelled to Armstrong’s home in Kokomo, Indiana in August 2011 after she hadn’t heard from her sister in an unusually long amount of time.

On top of that, Armstrong’s boyfriend Funke was giving Rush unclear answers, continuing to say that when Rush called, Armstrong had just stepped out of the house, or was unavailable to speak, and he never knew when she would be back.

Charged: Now Travis Funke, 34, is charged with Kelly Anderson's murder, months after he admitted to hitting her repeatedly with a hammer though he initially thought it was only a dream

Though she alerted Kokomo police that she was concerned about her sister’s welfare during that August trip, no real breaks in the case came until September 28, 2011 when police responded to the home where Armstrong and Funke lived.

At the time, Funke was wearing an ankle monitoring bracelet for criminal activity that has yet to be released, and police arrived at the home because the bracelet had been cut off. Funke was taken into police custody, charged with attempted escape, and sent to the Howard County jail.

The Kokomo Tribune reports that in October, Funke told a fellow inmate that he tried to kill Armstrong.

That tip prompted a search warrant of the trailer that Armstrong and Funke shared and police found blood stains on the carpet and bedroom that matched that of Armstrong. (Had they obtained a search warrant from the beginning, he would have been charged w/murder a lot sooner. Again, this reminds me of the Faith Willison case. my 2 cents )

For some unknown reason, police only interviewed Funke directly in January, and that was the first time that he confessed to killing Armstrong directly to authorities.

The affidavit states that Funke told police that ‘he and Kelly had been fighting for three days’ leading up to her reported death around July 1, 2011.

WISH TV reports that the fight was over prescription pills.

‘Funke stated that he fell asleep on the couch and he awoke to Kelly hitting the couch with a hammer. Funke stated that he believes that Kelly hit him on the head with the hammer and knocked him out.

‘Funke stated that, when he came to, Kelly was dead on the floor and bleeding from the head. Funke said that he has memories of hitting her in the head with a hammer but thought that it was a dream.’

The Huffington Post reports that he told police that he put a plastic bag over her head, wrapped her body in a tarp, and put it in a garbage container that was picked up later that day.

Trouble: The two-year-old child shared by Anderson and Funke was used as a part of a now-revoked plea deal that police had offered Funke in exchange for more clues about Anderson's body

During the interrogation process, Funke directed police to a local landfill and after the spent six days looking through 6,000 tons of trash, they still found no clues relating to the case.

Because the body has never been found, Funke was originally charged with voluntary manslaughter.

Another aspect of the case has been the couple’s son, and Funke tried to bargain with prosecutors over releasing further details about the murder in order to secure custody of the 2-year-old child.

After learning of the prospect that the child may go back into the care of the accused murderer, Armstrong’s family were predictably upset and petitioned the courts for the plea deal to be taken off the table.

The next formal verdicts in the case will come when it goes to a jury trial on August 21, but until then the fight between the Armstrong family and the local police will likely continue to play out, as they blame Howard County Prosecutor Mark McCann with failing to properly inform the Armstrongs about the details of the plea deal.

‘This case is so screwed up,’ Kelly’s father David Armstrong told the Kokomo Tribune.

‘Something needs to be done.’

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Funke CONVICTED/Kelly Armstrong's Family Outraged Over Travis Funke's Manslaughter Charge: 'That's Not Justice'/Funke Sentenced To 33 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend Kelly Armstrong With A Hammer.

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:10 pm

I wonder what this monster did with Kelly.

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Funke CONVICTED/Kelly Armstrong's Family Outraged Over Travis Funke's Manslaughter Charge: 'That's Not Justice'/Funke Sentenced To 33 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend Kelly Armstrong With A Hammer.

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:20 pm

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Funke CONVICTED/Kelly Armstrong's Family Outraged Over Travis Funke's Manslaughter Charge: 'That's Not Justice'/Funke Sentenced To 33 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend Kelly Armstrong With A Hammer.

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:41 pm

Plea filed in year old missing person case

Updated: Friday, 15 Feb 2013, 6:02 PM EST
Published : Friday, 15 Feb 2013, 6:02 PM EST

KOKOMO, Ind. (The Kokomo Tribune) - A plea deal has been filed in year-old, missing person case.

Travis Funke told police he killed his 27-year-old girlfriend Kelly Armstrong in 2011, although her body has never been found.

The agreement says Funke would plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter and receive a 50-year sentence, with 35 years in prison and 15 years suspended, to be served on probation after his release, 24-Hour News 8’s news partner The Kokomo Tribune reports.

There is no set date for the plea.

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Normal Parents oppose allowing daughter's boyfriend to enter plea deal until her body is found

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:39 pm

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: February 24, 2013 - 3:46 pm
Last Updated: February 24, 2013 - 3:52 pm

LOGANSPORT, Indiana — Parents of a woman who went missing nearly two years ago say they oppose allowing the man charged in her death to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter until he tells authorities the location of her body.

Teresa Edwards and David Armstrong told the Pharos-Tribune (http://bit.ly/X4SLqm) that they were blindsided by an announcement that the Howard County prosecutor's office plan to hold a hearing Tuesday in Kokomo before Judge Brant Parry on a proposed plea deal for Travis Funke of Kokomo in the July 2011 death of their 27-year-old daughter, Kelly Armstrong. They say they haven't been informed about of the details of the deal.

"I didn't even know he filed it," Armstrong said. "Last I knew, this was set for a murder trial. It's not set for a plea deal. We're getting a plea agreement and I still don't have my daughter."

The Kokomo Tribune reported on Feb. 15 that the plea agreement calls for Funke to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter and receive a 50-year sentence, with 35 years in prison and 15 years suspended in the death of 27-year-old girlfriend Kelly Armstrong.

Funke was charged in February 2012 with voluntary manslaughter after Kokomo police said Funke admitted to killing Armstrong after they argued over drugs, then putting her body in a trash bin. But her body has never been found, despite a six-day search of the Wabash Valley Landfill in Wabash.

An initial plea agreement fell through last July when Edwards and Armstrong balked at the agreement because of a provision calling for prosecutors to recommend that Funke's relatives be awarded custody of the couple's 2-year-old son.

The Kokomo Tribune reported the most recent plea does not address the child's custody. The newspaper also reported that as a condition of the plea, Funke is required to cooperate with police and give a full statement as to the whereabouts of Armstrong's body and the facts surrounding her disappearance.

The parents told the Pharos-Tribune they won't have closure until they have their daughter's body back.

"If they want this to go away, I don't care who it is, they need to give me my daughter," Edwards said. "Because this isn't going to go away."


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I agree!!

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Normal Re: UPDATE: Funke CONVICTED/Kelly Armstrong's Family Outraged Over Travis Funke's Manslaughter Charge: 'That's Not Justice'/Funke Sentenced To 33 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend Kelly Armstrong With A Hammer.

Post by raine1953 on Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:16 pm

Sure sounds like the prosecution is NOT on the victims side. I'd be just as mad as those poor parents, it's not right.
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Normal TravisUPDATE CONVICTED: Funke Sentenced To 33 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend Kelly Armstrong With A Hammer

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:34 pm

02/26/2013

A Kokomo man who admitted to beating his girlfriend to death with a hammer and dumping her body has been sentenced to 33 years in prison.

Travis Funke, 34, on Tuesday pleaded guilty to one count of voluntary manslaughter in the July 2011 death of Kelly Armstrong.

Although her body has not been found, Funke later admitted to killing Armstrong in the mobile home the couple shared.

He told police that Armstrong threatened him with a hammer during a fight, and that he took it from her and beat her repeatedly, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Funke said he put Armstrong's body in a trash bin, which was picked up a short time later, and tried to clean up the blood with bleach. Police found a hammer covered with blood and several large blood stains in the home.

Police tracked the trash to the Wabash Valley Landfill, where they spent six days last year searching through 6,000 tons of trash. No remains were found.

As part of the plea agreement, Funke must cooperate if Armstrong's remains are ever found.

Armstrong's family objected to the sentence. They wanted her body found before a plea deal was made.


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Normal Re: UPDATE: Funke CONVICTED/Kelly Armstrong's Family Outraged Over Travis Funke's Manslaughter Charge: 'That's Not Justice'/Funke Sentenced To 33 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend Kelly Armstrong With A Hammer.

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:53 pm

Wow..very bittersweet. And sad!

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