red doc marten boots Arrests made in Perry County cold case

By Gretchen Ross email Twitter

Posted by Natalie Yarbor email

TELL CITY, IN (WFIE) Perry County Prosecutor Robert Collins announced that Grand Jury handed down indictments against two cousins for their involvement in the 1997 murder of Deborah Ann Mills Cioe.

Deborah Cioe, 21, of Tell City, Indiana was found murdered February 28, 1997 in a rural wooded area, several yards off a gravel road, about five miles north of Tobinsport, Indiana.

She was reported missing on February 28, 1997. Deborah died from loss of blood after receiving a deep cutting wound to the left side of her neck. Deborah death was ruled a homicide.

Thomas E. Lane, 36, of Tell City, and Thomas D. Lane, 37, of Gentryville were arrested. The cousins face charges of murder, felony murder and attempted rape.

In 1997, Indiana State Police investigators were unable to establish enough probable cause to arrest anyone for Deborah murder.

Leads and additional information on the crime grew cold in the years immediately following her death and a number of the original investigators retired.

However, detectives and troopers at the Jasper Post continued to keep Deborah and her family in mind.

In 2008, Indiana State Police investigators and crime lab personnel, utilizing federal grant money to work overtime to investigate “cold” cases, discovered significant leads in the case.

Deborah murder was assigned to Detective Chris Cecil, who began reviewing and following up on the leads.

“There was a lot of material to go through,” said Cecil. “There was a lot of material at first, because there were two Tom Lanes involved, but the more I investigated, I got a feel of which one they were referring to in the case.”

Detective Cecil presented the case to Prosecutor Collins, who requested a Grand Jury convene to review the evidence.

Indiana State Police arrested Thomas E. Lane and his cousin Thomas D. Lane without incident.

The two cousins were transported to the Perry County Jail where they are being held without bond.

Dectective Cecil and Prosecutor Collins won comment on the investigation but do say the cousins had prior criminal records, and they credit retired investigators and the Evansville crime lab for their contributions to the case.

The Mills Family released a statement: “We would like to thank the Indiana State Police for their on going dedication in pursuing justice for Deborah. We have been praying for this day for over 12 years and we, as her family, can finally begin to seek closure.”
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