The following person is missing and may have resided in the building that burned on March 20, 2007, in the 1300 block of Western / 300 block of South Walnut Street in South Bend.
This individual had reportedly been given permission to enter the building at will. At this time, subsequent to the fire, he can not be located. The South Bend Police Department is interested in checking on his welfare and safety. He is one:Richard D. Eakins, M/W age 50
5'-07" / 150#; Thin build;
Sandy Brown Hair;
Last seen wearing a Black
Jacket and Blue Jeans.
Mr. Eakins is considered a homeless person and may have relatives in the Elkhart, Indiana area. He was last seen approximately 7 (seven) hours prior to the fire at the S. Walnut Street location. The South Bend Fire Department is aware that this individual could have been inside the structure when the fire was reported and they are conduction a search of the interior of the building as well.
Eakins has no record with the SBPD or County Police and at this time we have no photo to accompany this release.
We are asking any person who knows Richard Eakins and may have encountered him after Midnight this date, to call the South Bend Police Department at 235-9201. Again, this is an attempt to locate an individual to establish his welfare.
Today, Friday, March 23, 2007, investigators from the South Bend Fire and Police Departments, assisted by a local excavating firm, located human remains in the burned building located in the 300 block of South Walnut St. in South Bend. The building caught fire late on March 20, at which time the South Bend Police Department was contacted concerning a missing person that could be associated with the structure.
At this time, the condition of the remains did not make an immediate identification possible and it will be necessary for medical/forensic testing to be conducted to make a positive identification. Because of this, it is not possible to cancel the missing persons report associated with the fire investigation.
An autopsy is scheduled for Monday, March 26, 2007 and it is hoped that an identification will be made at that time.
The South Bend Police Department Forensic Science Unit has positively matched a known standard of missing Richard D. Eakins' fingerprint, with a fingerprint impression taken from the body discovered in the burned building at 300 S. Walnut Street after the March 20th. fire.This ends the missing persons inquiry surrounding Mr. Eakins.