Putnam County fugitives on the run for 15 years returned to Indiana to face charges


Derrick Holman and Michele Cox

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PUTNAM COUNTY, Ind. – Two Putnam County residents managed to avoid the long arm of the law for 15 years until their luck finally ran out.

Michele Cox and Derrick Holman spent more than a decade evading Putnam County authorities in a drug case from 2003. They lived in Tennessee and Florida under stolen identities or fake names, according to WTHI.

Their time on the run came to an end when an Indiana man checked his credit history and found a fraudulent real estate purchase in Florida in his name. The man never lived in Florida or owned property there, court documents said.

An investigation found that Cox and Holman had been living under assumed identities to buy the Florida property that showed up on the Indiana man’s credit check.

The pair lived for a while in Tennessee before moving to Florida. They used forged documents such as insurance papers and driver’s licenses to buy property and other items while eluding police. Cox pleaded guilty to three counts related to fraudulent activity in the Florida case. Holman pleaded guilty to four similar charges; both were sentenced to 180 days in jail.

They’re back in the Putnam County Jail now to answer for charges stemming from a 2003 case. Both face drug-related counts while Holman is also charged with criminal recklessness and being a serious violent felon with a gun.

According to court documents, police were called to the Groveland area of Putnam County in May 2003 after a man accused Holman of pointing a gun at him; police said Holman told them he had guns in the home.

During the subsequent investigation, police discovered Holman had been previously convicted and was a serious violent felon. As a result, the law prohibited him from possessing a gun. Police found drug-related items and firearms during their search of the home, leading to the arrests of Holman and Cox, who was his girlfriend.

The pair failed to show up for a court hearing in 2004, prompting a county judge to issue warrants for their arrests. But local police didn’t find them until the Florida case came to light—and they were brought back to Putnam County to face the charges from the 2003 incident.

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