INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Detective Larry Craciunoiu investigates homicides.
It's telling that he’s taken on the case of Fred Farmer, a west side man reported missing after allegedly telling a family member last November 8 he was going on a hunting trip with friends that no one knows.
“Even though I’m in Homicide, we don’t have anything that tells us something bad has happened to Fred,” said Craciunoiu, who also knows he doesn’t have anything telling him Farmer is still alive.
“It’s a little more of a complex case so it came to us to investigate,” he said.
What Craciunoiu has is activity on Farmer’s cell phone and bank account that he and the family are fairly confident did not originate with the missing veteran.
“So we were getting text messages from my dad, just really really quick text messages saying, ‘Hey, I’m stuck in the woods, I’ll be home in a week,’” said Christina Farmer. “So before getting these messages really in the morning, it made us feel like he was okay, and then all of a sudden it sunk in and we said, ‘Those text messages don’t really sound like dad.’
“I was getting calls from his friends in Sarasota, Florida. I was getting a phone call from his friend Greg in Ohio and his friends here in Indiana saying, ‘Something’s not right.’”
Christina told CBS4 that the typing style and content of those text messages were not reminiscent of her dad.
Craciunoiu said cell phone tracking proves Farmer’s phone never left the west side of Indianapolis until it went dead in mid-January. His guns went missing and his bank account was cleaned out.
“As far as Fred’s circle of friends and his family, a lot of time on these missing persons cases, homicide cases, the problem is people not wanting to talk, not wanting to come forward.”
Craciunoiu said, for the most part, that’s not the case in the Fred Farmer investigation.
“He kept such a close circle that he would not go hunting or even out to the American Legion with someone that he would not feel comfortable with and that he did not know on a personal level.”
“Fred was a rich man and I don’t mean monetary,” said Dave Spaulding, Farmer’s hunting buddy. “He was rich with the friends that he kept and he had and that knew him and that was neighbors as well as neighbors’ friends.
“Fred did tell me about an out-of-state trip, but no other information was given, but that was not Fred,” said Spaulding. “I don’t know if it was peer pressure or not. I wish now I had pressured him a bit more.”
Farmer’s daughters and his son Jeremy attended a recent candlelight vigil attend by more than a hundred friends at American Legion Post 64 on Holt Road.
“Somebody knows my dad and they know what happened,” said Christina. “At this point in time I’m not processing it as he’s coming home. I’m just waiting to find out who did something.”
Craciunoiu thinks he already talked to the person who knows what happened to Fred Farmer.
“We’re trying to do that through people who have talked to him and seen him and just try to put together where he was at, when he was there and then where he went afterwards,” said Craciunoiu. “There’s a lot of little things that fit in that make it a little difficult to try to track him.”
If you know anything about the disappearance or suspected murder of Fred Farmer, call Crimestoppers at 317-262-TIPS (8477). Your information could be worth a $1,000 reward.