On Friday morning the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department held a press conference on the recent arrest of Clinton Mackey in the death investigation of Erika Case.
On Sept. 6, 1998 – 19-year-old Erika Case was found murdered in a rural West Terre Haute home.
“A lot of hard work 15-years-ago was done…been a 15 year process,” Sheriff Greg Ewing stated.
Mackey, now 33-years-old, had been a suspect in this case for a long time Ewing explained.
In May, the Sheriff’s Department was contacted by the Indiana Sheriff’s Association. The department was able to move forward in the case with the help of the television network TNT and their program, Cold Justice.
“The police cannot do everything because we just do not have the resources,” Ewing said. “Cold Justice gave us that avenue… able to turn over evidence quicker.. we ramped this case up, went back and went through the entire case from the beginning, turned up the heat.”
Through the resources of Cold Justice, officials were able to track Mackey and put pressure on him.
“Mackey knew that February 14, that [Cold Justice episode] was going to air… still going to air,” Ewing said. Although, the show did record a new ending for when the episode will air.
Roughly six months after reopening the cold case, Clinton Mackey went to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office in Iowa and turned himself in. Ewing did make a point of stating that it was because of the work that had been done. “… it was because of the heat that had been turned up on this case,” he said.
Vigo County Detectives traveled to Benton County and obtained a full and detailed confession from Mackey.
“…case was moving forward one way or another, whether he would have come forward or not,” Vigo County Prosecutor, Terry Modesitt said.
Even though Mackey is being held at the Vigo County Jail with no bond and trial dates set, evidence is still underway today and witnesses are still being interviewed.
“We want a solid case, a confession alone in a case is not enough,” Modesitt explained.
While the investigation is far from over, officials do not believe there are any other suspects in this case.
Charges have been filed, a trial date is set for July 14 and Mackey has been appointed an attorney. He remains in the Vigo County Jail with no bond.
“…most important thing in this is Erika’s family,” Detective Derek Fell, Vigo County Sheriff’s Department said. “Grateful that we can finally give some closure.”
Tune in to News 10 First @ Five and News 10 at 6 p.m. for post conference interviews and an in-depth look at this investigation.