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The search for Floyd Lee Small, 28, began when he failed to appear in court. It ended at the bottom of an old well in a remote section of southwestern Decatur County.

According to the Indiana State Police (ISP), at approximately 9:30 Sunday evening Small’s body was exhumed from a cistern behind the Westport residence of Timothy Alan Menkedick, 42, 2704 S. Waterplant Road.

Menkedick, who police believe gunned down Small, was nowhere to be found.

“We got information from this one guy who told a Deputy (Small) was taking a ‘dirt nap,’” Sheriff Daryl Templeton said. “We and the state police gathered more information, which led us to the house and the cistern where we found the body.”

Last seen Sunday in North Vernon and the day before at the Decatur County 4-H Fair the day before, Menkedick is wanted on charges of murder, which carries a minimum sentence upon conviction of 45 years and could result in the death penalty. Police are actively searching for the 6-foot-2-inch, 220 pounds, brownish-blond receding haired and blue eyed male. He may be armed and is considered dangerous. Sightings should be reported immediately to ISP at 1-800-566-6704 or the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department at (812) 663-8125.

The story of Small’s demise began in February but it wasn’t until the victim, known by the nickname “Chicken,” failed to appear for a court date that a warrant was issued for his arrest and the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department began looking for him. During its search, the truth began to surface.

According to ISP officials, a July 13th investigation led them to the source who first shed light on the case by filling them in on the alleged chain of events. The witness stated Small and Jewel Egan were living with Menkedick at his home on Waterplant Road. Egan was Menkedick’s girlfriend but during co-habitation developed “a close personal relationship” with Small. The same witness reported Menkedick had seen Egan and Small “together” shortly before Small’s disappearance.

According to the police documents, early in the morning of Feb. 13, Menkedick left his residence with a “rifle or shotgun” and made his way to the area on the property where Small was living. The witness heard arguing, then gun shots rang out in the night. When Menkedick returned, he told the witness: “I just shot ‘Chicken’ and I need more shells because I am afraid he is going to get away.” He left again and the witness heard more gunshots.

Police documents detailed the chronology of the events. After allegedly killing Small, Menkedick sought out the assistance of Daniel Craig, 56, North Vernon. The witness saw “what appeared to be a body wrapped in a tarp or heavy plastic” and a room in an outbuilding that was covered in blood.

According to ISP, the witness overheard Menkedick tell Craig he had shoved Small’s body down an old well located in a secluded section of the property, which he then filled with dirt. The witness also watched as Craig cleaned blood and other human material from the place where Small was killed.

With this knowledge, the ISP, in conjunction with the Sheriff’s Department, obtained a search warrant on July 15 to investigate the land owned by Menkedick. Together, the agencies followed the information provided by the witness and discovered Small’s remains exactly where police were promised they would be.

“The State and the County worked together. It was a concerted effort and we accomplished what we set out to do, which was to find Floyd Small,” Templeton said.

The body must undergo an autopsy before it can be positively identified, but information found at the scene indicated it was Small. A wallet found on the body contained photos of Small’s family.

Both Small and Menkedick were no strangers to local law enforcement. Netted in an ISP sting operation in October, Menkedick was currently out on a $50,000 bond after being arrested on charges of dealing methamphetamine, a Class B felony; dealing marijuana, a Class A misdemeanor; possession of methamphetamine, a Class D felony; and possession of marijuana, a Class A. For the Class B alone, Menkedick was facing a maximum of 20 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Small was characterized by local law enforcement as a “frequent flyer” who was often jailed. A local officer noted, if the warrant hadn’t issued, his body may not have been found.

“(Small) didn’t have a lot of family, none in Decatur County we know of. It seemed even the people he called his friends didn’t seem to care when he was there,” he said.

The ongoing investigation is being conducted by ISP Det. Pete Tressler. Other agencies involved in the investigation include the Sheriff’s Department, the Decatur County Prosecutor’s office, Decatur County Coroner’s office, the University of Indianapolis Anthropology Department, the Indiana Department of Transportation, Westport Fire Department and the Westport Street Department.

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