Arrest made in 1993 murder of LaPorte teen - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Arrest made in 1993 murder of LaPorte teen

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Jason Tibbs (Courtesy: LaPorte County Jail) Jason Tibbs (Courtesy: LaPorte County Jail)
Rayna Rison Rayna Rison

After more than 20 years, police have made an arrest in the murder of 16-year-old Rayna Rison.

Rison was reported missing in March of 1993 after she didn't return home from her job at the Pine Lake Animal Hospital. Rison's disappearance received extensive coverage, including an appearance on America's Most Wanted. Her car was found abandoned on a country road outside LaPorte. Her body was later found in a pond. Her death was ruled a homicide.

Rison's brother-in-law was charged with her murder and spent 14 months in jail. He was released in 1999 after then LaPorte County Prosecutor Larry Beckman determined he didn't have enough evidence to present to a jury.

On Friday, LaPorte Police and Indiana State Police say a joint investigation led to the arrest of 38-year-old Jason Tibbs of LaPorte for Rison's murder. Tibbs was arrested during a traffic stop on a LaPorte County warrant for Murder.

LaPorte County Prosecutor Robert Szilagyi says Eric Freeman told authorities he was with Tibbs when he got into a fight with Rayna Rison and strangled her. Freeman made the statement after being granted immunity. Police talked to him after another man said he saw Tibbs and Freeman with a body in the trunk of a car.

Tibbs was arraigned Friday and the judge entered a not guilty plea to murder.  Tibbs is being held at the LaPorte County Jail without bond.

Rison's father, Ben Rison, tells the Associated Press that his daughter and Tibbs were friends in middle school.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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