Police: Cold case may be solved with arrest in 1995 murder

Police have arrested a man in connection with a 24-year-old homicide case. (Photo: WTHR)
Arrest in cold murder case
Cold Case Murder Arrest

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — It was Nov. 25, 1995 when a driver found a woman's partially-clothed body off of South Bade Road on the east side of Indianapolis.

The victim was 18-year-old Tammy Surber. An autopsy revealed Surber had been strangled.

Police followed several leads, but eventually the case went cold until 13 years later. In 2008, investigators re-examined DNA from semen found on Surber.

Those tests led them to convicted offender Carl Tyler. Court documents show police took a DNA sample from Tyler and interviewed him in 2011.

According to investigators Tyler told them he "did not know anything about the murder and he was not a murderer."

Police say the DNA evidence wasn't conclusive enough to connect Tyler to Surber's killing and no additional evidence came up, so they had to drop it.

That is until this past January.

According to charging documents, a woman who had been in a relationship with Tyler called police and told them that Tyler was Surber's killer and she had him on tape admitting it.

Police say the woman told them Tyler referred to Surber's murder throughout their relationship when he'd beat and threaten to kill her.

Investigators detailed some of Tyler's other chilling statements from that woman's recording. At one point, police say Tyler was talking about Surber and told the woman, "I done that, you know. I did, I am not proud of it, I like killing though, yeah I have a problem with it."

In the same recording, court documents allege Tyler told the woman: "I already born with no conscious, I ain't ask for that. I don't know where it came from, answer that, I am Satan."

Tyler was arrested Wednesday night. He will be in court Friday morning for an initial hearing on a charge of murder.