UPDATE: Suspicious deaths in Elkhart connected - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Suspicious deaths in Elkhart connected

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Elkhart County and city police are investigating two suspicious deaths they now say are connected.

The first happened at the former American Countryside farmers market on County Road 26.  Police say they received a call about a dead body from a passerby just before 11 Saturday morning.

When they arrived, they found 45-year-old Debbie McDowell.  It is being ruled as a homicide but the cause of death is still being determined by the coroner.  An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.

Another body was found in the parking lot of Poor Tony's Eatery in Elkhart, just one hour later.  The Sheriff's Department says it appears 63-year-old Ervin Howard shot himself.

The Elkhart County Police Department says they Howard called the 911 center and said he had shot McDowell before he killed himself.

Investigators are still working to determine the relationship between Howard and McDowell.  They do know that the two knew each other.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department. at 574-533-4151.

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