She was a Boonville teenager, her name, Amanda Vanscyoc. In 2001, the teen’s body was found thrown out like trash near the Ohio River in Yankeetown, Indiana. Authorities in Warrick County say Vanscyoc’s case undoubtedly involves foul play, “People don’t just die inside a wrapped up carpet,” said Sergeant Aaron Bennett.
Vanscyoc was 18 when she was found strangled to death, now nearly 18 years later, investigators with the sheriff’s office are still trying to answer who killed Amanda. In November, 2001 two hunters in rural Warrick County made the grim discovery, “They were just walking around that area and saw a carpet that was rolled up that they didn’t recognize before and when they walked by close to it, they were able to see there was a body wrapped up inside of it,” said Bennett.
Bennett was working for the Warrick County Sheriff’s Office in 2001 and responded to the scene. “I was the officer who went down and found her. At that point, once you know there’s a body we just kind of leave it as is until the crime scene can be dealt with so the point of really knowing that was Amanda at the time was probably a day or so later is when I realized it.”
Vanscyoc was no stranger to authorities. She ran around in drug circles and was caught up in the court system. According to court records at the time of her death she was on probation. She also signed up to work as a confidential informant but the Warrick County Sheriff’s Office maintains that had nothing to do with her murder.
Today you can find evidence of partying where Vanscyoc’s body was found — campfires, empty beer cans, even spent shell casings but nearly 18 years ago when the teen’s body was discovered little evidence was recovered at the scene.
The evidence collected from where Vanscyoc’s body was found was sent off to Indiana State Police to be examined and what investigators learned raised concern. DNA that did not belong to Amanda was found on her body. That DNA would eventually come back to be identified as semen from the teen’s stepfather. Initially he denied knowing how his DNA ended up there but eventually admitted to having a sexual relationship with his wife’s daughter.
Linda Warner, Amanda’s mother and her husband were both questioned as part of the investigation but Linda’s husband was never named a suspect or person of interest, “We have a good story line, however we need someone to come in with the odds and ends of it to tie up the details to make sure we get a prosecution and a conviction,” said Bennett.
The Warrick County Sheriff’s Office never named anyone as a suspect or person of interest in order to protect the investigation. Now, nearly 18 years later Bennett is hoping there could be a break in this case, “If anyone does know anything then we hope as a result of this story they will call in with maybe something they didn’t think was important at the time, that is extremely important to us.”
Sergeant Bennett has five years left with WCSO and says this case is one he believes will be solved in his career. We reached out to Linda Warner for an interview but she did not respond before our deadline. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Warrick County Sheriff’s Office.