Son charged in connection with New Haven mother’s death

Chad Ingram (Photo courtesy of the Allen County Sheriff's Department)

A man found in a New Haven home with his mother’s bludgeoned body was charged Wednesday with murder in her death.

New Haven Police officers were called at around 2:45 p.m. Nov. 25 to the home of Heidi A. Colley, 61, in the 1600 block of Sherbrook Drive. A relative was concerned that he hadn’t heard from her. Police found Colley’s nude body inside the home. She was clutching a clothes hanger and had several dark red and purple bruises on her face; rigor mortis had set in, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Wednesday in Allen Superior Court. Medics arrived and pronounced her dead at the scene.

Colley’s son Chad Ingram, 43, was also inside the home when officers arrived, and he was considered a person of interest in her death, New Haven Police detective Kevin Hamrick previously told

DNA results returned Jan. 22 from the Indiana State Police Laboratory Division showed Ingram’s DNA matched the DNA found on swabs taken from several parts of Colley’s body, including both her hands, according to court records filed Wednesday. Other than her own, no one else’s DNA was found.

New Haven Police had been called nine times since June 2017 by Colley to allege that Ingram committed domestic violence to her or other situations, according to court records. The last time she is known to have called police was Nov. 15, 10 days before her death, when an officer talked to her at her home after she alleged Ingram had taken her car without her permission. The car was returned and she didn’t want to involve police further, according to court records.

After Colley’s death, Ingram was initially charged with felony domestic battery and then arrested twice in one day Dec. 1 on criminal trespass charges after his release from jail because he returned to the home, according to police. The home is listed as his address in court records.

He has been held in the Allen County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond since Dec. 1.

Colley died from blunt-force trauma to her head, according to the Allen County Coroner’s Office. Her death was ruled the 35th homicide in Allen County in 2017.

According to the probable cause affidavit, the following occurred:

Ingram was intoxicated when a police officer arrived with the relative at the home. Ingram was sitting in the dark and said he didn’t know where his mother was when he was asked. The officer looked for Colley and found her on the floor of a bedroom at the end of a hallway. The officer called New Haven EMS. During this time, Ingram repeatedly asked why people were in his house.

A detective who had previously dealt with Ingram said, “It was not uncommon for him to be intoxicated and very unpredictable.”

The detective saw Colley’s body had bruises on the face, neck and chest.

“While I was looking at Heidi, the Defendant wanted to know what I was looking at and what I was doing.”

Police took Ingram to the Allen County Jail, where the detective talked to him Nov. 26. Ingram said he didn’t know Colley ws in the house. She had been staying with her relative for two weeks and he brought her back home. She was then to go stay with her friend. The friend said she hadn’t been able to reach Colley since she last talked to her by phone Oct. 26. She stopped by the home Nov. 23 but no one came to the door. She found it odd that Colley’s car was unlocked.

The detective asked Ingram if he and his mother had gotten into a physical confrontation.

“He stated Heidi always called the police before it got physical.”

Told that his mother was found naked with bruises on her face, he said the situation was “all so bizarre.”

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Homicides in New Haven

Colley’s death is the second homicide in two years. The previous was the death of Jaime Lynn Klein, 30, of Fort Wayne, who was found at about 8:20 a.m. Oct. 19, 2016, inside a residence in the 1000 block of Hartzell Road in New Haven. The coroner’s office determined she received multiple stab wounds.

Klein’s death was Allen County’s 42nd homicide of 2016. New Haven had not had a homicide since Henry Osterholt was killed in his home with his own shotgun by robbers Feb. 25, 1997. Three men and woman were charged in the connection with the crime.

New Haven Chief Henry McKinnon said Wednesday he is confident that an arrest will be made in Klein’s death.