SPENCER, Ind. (WTHI) - A man originally viewed as a victim of a random gunshot in McCormick's Creek State Park on June 25 , is now the only suspect.
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Upon investigation carried out by Indiana Conservation Officers, the found evidence suggested that Peter Raventos, 43, shot himself in a staged incident designed to portray him as a victim.
Conservation Officers, McCormick's Creek staff, the Owen County Sheriff's Department, Spencer Police, and Indiana State Police conducted a thorough search of the park and nearby area for a possible suspect but found none.
Witness interviews led Officers to the area of the shooting, where they found bungee cords, fishing line, a spent shotgun shell, an unspent shotgun shell, and a small piece of plywood embedded with shotgun pellets.
Conservation K-9 Officers uncovered a shotgun wad, while Conservation scuba divers uncovered a 20-Gauge shotgun in the White River, which was linked to Raventos.
Search warrants for Raventos' home, cell phone, and vehicle turned up additional evidence.
From witness interviews and evidence found at the scene and at Raventos' home, Conservation Officers have since concluded that Raventos rigged a shotgun so he could fire it at himself from some distance.
Conservation Officers forwarded their evidence and information to the Owen County Prosecuting Attorney Don VanDerMoere, who has charged Raventos with Obstruction of Justice and False Informing.
Raventos turned himself in to the Owen Co. Sheriff's Dept. Monday morning. At his initial hearing, bond was set at $5,000.
DNR Director Rob Carter believes the staged event was meant to be malicious towards the image of the state park. It was meant to portray state parks as unsafe to the public; however, Director Carter would like to reassure the public that the parks are safe, and that he's pleased with the quick resolution.
Release from Indiana Department of Natural Resources: Law Enforcement
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