Montgomery Co. remains may be missing Carmel man

Ennis Craig Roberts
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A friend of a missing Carmel man says remains found in Montgomery County may be that of the missing businessman.

Ennis Craig Roberts' name was put between his parents' on their headstone at Crown Hill Cemetery after his disappearance in 1996.

The last trace of Roberts was when police found his car in a parking lot at the Indianapolis airport. By that time, however, he had been missing for days. The search for the man was extensive. During that search, Chopper 13 recorded video of cadaver dogs picking up on a scent, which eventually led divers to a pond.

"They search in the backyard of his home and several other places, looking, hoping to find freshly-turned dirt," said Bill Warrick, Roberts' best friend and the guardian of his estate.

John David Smith had worked for Roberts and has been convicted of his murder. He is in prison serving a 95-year sentence. Smith was originally convicted of taking cash, credit cards and checks along with Roberts' car. His murder conviction came in 2001 and without much evidence.

Warrick says police told him the search for his friend may be over. Police may have found Roberts remains in a Montgomery County farm field. It appears that Smith may have told investigators where he put the body.

"Saying they were in the midst of excavating what they thought was the grave, so to speak, of my friend," Warrick said. "It is wonderful to know. We have not known what happen to Craig's body. Smith was convicted on circumstantial evidence, but we never knew."

Roberts had been an avid runner and wore running shoes all of the time, the same shoes found in a shallow grave, wrapped in a blue tarp.

"I will say we, his family and friends, are very relieved to know where Craig turned up. We will take good care of his remains," Warrick said.

The remains found in Montgomery County have been taken to a lab in Terre Haute, the Hamilton County Sheriff Department is not confirming the remains are those of Craig Roberts. Police expect to make a positive identification in the coming weeks.

An autopsy on the remains performed Wednesday was unable to determine the identity of the victim. Investigators will use dental records and DNA to try to establish a positive identity.