Convicted sex offender arrested in teen's murder - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Convicted sex offender arrested in teen's murder

Tarra Picket's body was found in some woods Monday night. Tarra Picket's body was found in some woods Monday night.
Registered sex offender Leonard Dickey is under arrest in connection with the murder. Registered sex offender Leonard Dickey is under arrest in connection with the murder.
Feelings ran high as news of Tarra's murder spread through town. Feelings ran high as news of Tarra's murder spread through town.
A makeshift memorial has gone up in memory of Tarra. A makeshift memorial has gone up in memory of Tarra.

Steve Jefferson/Eyewitness News

Cambridge City - A convicted rapist is back in jail while police investigate the murder of a Indiana teenager. The girl was found murdered Monday night. Investigators believe the suspect abducted her in broad daylight and then bragged about killing her.

It happened in Cambridge City, Indiana. That's about 50-miles east of Indianapolis in Wayne County.

People in the small town of Cambridge City gathered Tuesday to remember Tarra Pickett. Her father sat in the center of the gathering, overwhelmed with grief.

The 16-year-old mysteriously disappeared around 6:30 Monday evening. She was last seen near South Fourth Street. It was there that family and friends returned Tuesday night to shed tears. Included in that group was Michael Hickmott.

"She was a good girl. She stayed out of trouble and she got good grades," Hickmott said.

Hickmott participated in the search for Tarra. He heard rumors about someone killing a young girl and leaving the body in a wooded area. He says they went to the woods to ease the fears of another friend.

"So John and Papa decided to go into the woods to make Rachel safe. They got in the middle of the woods and there she was," he said.

"It was about 7:30 (p.m.) and I can't believe somebody in the neighborhood didn't hear them screaming or something like that," Ken Guffey, another Cambridge City resident, said.

Cambridge Police arrested registered sex offender Leonard Dickey. The convicted rapist is listed as a sex predator on the Indiana sex offender registry. He served more than 20-years of his 40-year sentence for rape. He was also out on bond after a January arrest on three counts of child molesting.

That angers Ken Guffey. "Instead of letting him get out here on the street and kill little kids and raping little kids. It just ain't right."

Family and friends not only marched, they also started a memorial of teddy bears, candles and flowers.

This tight knit community and just about everyone is in shock over a teenager found murdered so close to home.

Paramedics rushed Leonard Dickey to the hospital for injuries he sustained during a police chase.

One police officer told Eyewitness News that they found plenty of evidence at the crime scene that led them straight to Dickey.

Tarra Pickett's friends are planning a memorial at her school later this week.

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