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Police and fire

  • Missing Mount Etna teen found in Fort Wayne
    17-year-old Brandon Smith who had been missing since Friday, was found safe in downtown Fort Wayne Sunday morning, the Huntington County Sheriff’s Department said.
  • 1 dead, 1 wounded in shooting on East Rudisill
    An adult male died from gunshot wounds early Sunday, according to Fort Wayne police spokesman Jason Anthony.Officers responded to a shooting about 12:55 a.m. in the 600 block of East Rudisill Boulevard.
  • Police seek help finding Mount Etna boy
    A teenage boy with special needs is still missing from Huntington County, and police hope the public can offer some tips.

Woman's tormentor sought in beatings

A New Haven man is accused of choking a woman into unconsciousness before beating her again and trying to rape her after she was released from a hospital.

The woman’s torment began one night in May when Michael J. Ladig, 41, told her he knew she was having an affair with the man whose car she just exited. But Ladig and the woman had been together all night, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Before she could respond to Ladig, he started to punch her repeatedly in the face and back of the head, the report said.

Ladig then choked her into unconsciousness and she awoke to being dragged along the floor, which was just the beginning of three to four hours of vicious beatings detailed in the affidavit, including a head-butt and punch that badly cut her eyelid.

The woman told police she tried at least twice to escape the home, but Ladig managed to keep her captive.

She said that at one point while she was being choked, she was sure she would die and thought of her daughter because there was no one to take her to school.

The woman finally made it to a car when Ladig fell asleep, but he awoke and ran to the car. When he tried to force the woman back into the home, he dropped the car keys he had taken from her, the affidavit said.

The woman said she grabbed the keys, got in the car, locked the doors and made her escape as Ladig chased her on foot.

Three days later, the woman was released from the hospital and returned home, thinking she would be safe because she assumed Ladig was on the run.

He was waiting for her in the bedroom of the home, and the woman told police he attacked her when she told him they had nothing to discuss and that she wanted him to leave.

Amid the struggle, he slammed her head hard enough into a wall that she broke through the drywall, police said. Ladig told the woman that if he was going to jail for beating her, he might as well be arrested for raping her, too, but the woman bit his cheek and he jumped off her, the report said.

Ladig, who was charged with attempted rape, strangulation, sexual battery, battery, attempted battery and two counts each of criminal confinement and domestic battery, had a warrant issued for his arrest.