The Mongo Murders: Who is Terry Durbin?
MONGO, Ind. -- We continue our Real Time Investigation: The Mongo Murders, by digging into the man investigators still consider a suspect. Terry Durbin, 49, is currently in prison for a separate murder. Investigative Reporter Clifton French has been communicating with him through letters for the past couple of months.
“People pretty much forgot about it. It’s kind of just an old story now.” Long-time friend of the Andersons', Tom Christian said.
For 13-and-a-half years, the double homicide of Terry and Darleen Anderson has sat cold. There have been no arrests or charges.
“I think it hasn’t been investigated in quite some time.” Terry Anderson's daughter, Sherry Musilek, said.
However, there was a glimmer of hope nearly 8-years ago. The sheriff at the time made an announcement that there was a person of interest. In fact, the current Sheriff, Jeff Campos, believes the case is already solved. He says the paperwork for the case is with the LaGrange County Prosecutor and it's now up to him to file charges.
“I won’t say anything about Terry (Durbin). You can talk about him. But I have no... I’m just not allowed to as part of the case. His name does come up. He was a person of interest and still is." Prosecutor Greg Kenner said. "I’d call him a suspect. I’ve never been into that person of interest thing. I’d call him a suspect. That’s just the way it is.“
Kenner was not the elected prosecutor at the time of the homicides. But, he was working in the office as the chief deputy.
“We do have things that could point to him. He is, I consider him a suspect. I just don’t have quite enough to get him convicted.” He explained.
Terry Durbin worked with Terry Anderson and his daughter, Amanda, at a tree trimming company. It's obvious there was a bit of a friendship, but family and friends say Durbin was not a big part of the Andersons' lives.
“They worked together at Asplundh tree service. I met the gentleman a couple of times. Apparently there was maybe an argument going on about some money being owed.” Musilek said.
“I never knew him. I heard about him, but I never knew him. I don’t think he did it. I don’t think, I think it’s just somebody the cops picked out.” Christian explained.
“He’s still somebody we’re still interested in. And obviously you know he’s in prison, obviously you know that. So." Kenner said. “He won’t talk (to us). We’ve attempted to talk to him.”
Durbin has been communicating with ABC57 in the form of letters. In the first letter he claimed to have volunteered to DNA and lie-detector testing. He called his potential involvement in the murders as "gossip" and "hot-topics." He says it was all created "by police on the elvolving internet. Baiting people with lies and rumors." He said investigators are "lossed in their investigation. But, at the end of the letter, he said he wanted to clear up the rumors, claiming they influenced his trial in 2010.
In the second letter, he demanded we pay his daughter $5,000 cash in order for us to interview him in person. But he also included some details about the last time he saw the Anderson's. He said he went to their home with his ex and three children where they grilled out and rode ATVs, 14 years ago.
I tracked down his ex, who says that story isn't true. She tells ABC57, when she and Durbin were living in New Carlisle, she did go to the Anderson's home a couple of times, but never with all of his kids. And, at the time of the murders, they were already separated. However, she still had contact with him and recalls his strange behavior at the time of the homicides. She says he abruptly switched cars with a friend and went on a drug bender immediately after the murders.
Durbin's ex tells us, Durbin was jealous of Terry Anderson. She believes he was involved in the murders, but also thinks he may have had some help.
“Someone else went in that house. There wasn’t just one person.” Musilek, said.
Many family members and friends believe more than one person committed the crimes.
“I don’t believe their theory! I don’t believe it! I don’t believe it was just that guy! There’s someone else out there that was involved!” Musilek added.
And, despite the Sheriff being confident in the case against Durbin, the prosecutor says he just needs a little more evidence.
“I don’t want to convict the wrong person for one thing. Another, I don’t think we have enough to file.” Kenner said.