PARKE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI)-Sheriff Justin Cole and many others from the Parke County Sherriff’s office are shocked. Michael Eslinger was a colleague and a close friend. Including to the current Sheriff Justin Cole.
"I know I’m still taking it in. Most of the staff the current staff had served under mike. Basically, everybody knew him and they knew Darla also," said Sheriff Cole.
"I had to catch my breath,” said Ed Roach. He is the Parke County Jail Commander. “I hear a lot of bad news in my job but I was momentarily stunned when I heard the news though."
Michael Eslinger served many years with the Parke County Sheriff’s office. Before that, he was an Indiana State Trooper. He was also the executive director of the Indiana Sheriff's Association.
Other officers from across the state have shared their condolences. Officers like Sheriff Paul harden of Clay County.
"He was a friend of most everyone. He was a good law enforcement officer and good for the community and good for the state of Indiana," said Sheriff Harden.
Darla Eslinger served as an E-M-A director for Parke County both of them serving to keep our community safe. The sheriff's department hopes people learn from this tragic incident.
"Be with your families during the holidays. Not in a hospital or in a jail suffering from the consequences. Like I said I’ve seen too many families broken apart by things like this," said Roach.
The Parke County Sheriff's office says the Eslinger’s will be deeply missed. We have not been told of any funeral arrangements at this time.