Alyssa Lynch

Alyssa Lynch

Man accused of killing children is back in Vanderburgh County

The Evansville man suspected of killing two children in a fire early Saturday could face the death penalty if convicted.

Jeffrey Weisheit will appear in a Vanderburgh County court this morning to face formal charges in the fire that killed 8-year-old Alyssa Lynch and her brother, Caleb, 5. A probable cause affidavit indicates at least one the children may have been bound.

“Obviously this is a potential death penalty case,” said Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Stan Levco. “It’s something I’ll be considering in the next two to three weeks.”

Weisheit appeared in court in Hamilton County, Ohio, on Monday where he waived extradition. He was booked into the Vanderburgh County Jail at 7 p.m. Monday and placed on suicide watch. When he is arraigned this morning, he is expected to face murder and arson charges.

On Monday, neighbors sifted through the scant, charred remains of the three-bedroom house on 10040 Fischer Road for anything they could salvage for the children’s mother, Lisa Lynch, who was at work when the fire began.

Next-door neighbor Kevin Glaser assembled a memorial to the children at the corner of the property — still surrounded by yellow police tape — that included flowers, stuffed animals, rock markers with their names, candles, crosses and plastic children’s sunglasses.

Friends said Lynch and her children moved in with Weisheit about a year ago and they appeared happy. Neighbor Jon Boring said they bought a four-wheeler a week ago to ride with the children.

“They brought it over and showed it to us,” he said.

Boring said he often saw the children playing outside.

“They were great kids, full of life, inquisitive,” he said. “They were always outside on the swing set or wanting to ride on the riding lawn mower.”

Boring said he has known Weisheit for nearly 20 years and had no indication that anything was wrong.

“I saw him about 5:30 p.m. that night (Friday) and he said he was going to watch a movie with the kids,” he said.

Alyssa Lynch was a second-grader at Cynthia Heights Elementary School in northern Vanderburgh County. The Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. crisis team of local counselors was at the school Monday, meeting with pupils who want to talk about their emotions.

About 12 children have thus far met with members of the counseling team, and “teachers have done a great job working with students in the classroom,” said Marsha Jackson, EVSC director of communications.

Several children at Cynthia Heights “understand (Alyssa) is not there, but they don’t understand the permanence,” Jackson said.

Weisheit, son of retired Evansville Police Department Lt. Bert Weisheit and a member of Laborers Local 561, bought the house in June 2008. Until March 25, he worked as a contract laborer for Industrial Contractors Inc. at a job at SABIC Innovative Plastics in Mount Vernon, Ind., said Denny Quinn, president of Industrial Contractors.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Weisheit was supposed to watch the children while Lynch was at work from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m., and then take them to Lynch’s parents house so he could go to work.

When deputies arriving at the fire scene realized that had not occurred and that Weisheit and his car were missing, they were able to locate it in Boone County, Ky., after Lynch called its OnStar emergency assistance service.

Weisheit was stopped by police in Kenton County, Ky., on Saturday after a chase.

The children’s bodies were found inside the house. An autopsy has indicated they died of smoke inhalation, according to the Vanderburgh County Coroner’s office, indicating that they were alive when the fire was set.

One of the children was found in a bedroom with two burned flares found near or under the body, according to the affidavit, and duct tape was also found that “may be evidence that the person had been bound in some fashion with the duct tape.”

Detective Randy Chapman of the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office interviewed Weisheit at University Hospital in Cincinnati. According to the affidavit, Weisheit said he had planned to leave the house a week before and that he did not want to take the “kids” with him.

Weisheit consistently stated he did not remember what happened to the children, according to the affidavit, but when asked if he set the fire, “Weisheit indicated that he had in fact set the fire.”

Weisheit also indicated he had not been drinking or taking drugs, according to the affidavit. Weisheit then ended the interview by indicating he wanted a lawyer.

Chapman worked with northern Kentucky police to get a search warrant for Weisheit’s car and a suitcase visible inside it.

Duct tape was also observed in the vehicle, according to the affidavit.

Weisheit was arrested after he confronted authorities and had to be stopped with a stun gun. He was taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Edgewood, Ky., before being transferred to University Hospital.

He still faces two counts of attempted murder on a police officer in Erlanger, Ky.

Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders said if Weisheit receives anything less than the death penalty from the Indiana case, he will be brought back to Kentucky to face attempted murder charges.

Staff writers Lydia X. McCoy and John Martin and the Kentucky Enquirer contributed to this report.

Also see the obituary for both children and the post for dear brother Caleb Lynch here.


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