MC man charged in dad's death

Joshua Wozniak

MICHIGAN CITY – A Michigan City man, who was arrested on drug charges the day after his father's death last month, is now charged with providing the drugs that led to his father's death.

Joshua J. Wozniak, 26, of Michigan City, was charged with dealing in a controlled substance resulting in death, a Level 1 Felony, in connection with the Jan. 24 death of his father, Larry Wozniak, according to the La Porte County Sheriff's Department.

Larry Wozniak died at a home in the 6000 of North CR-400 West in Springfield Township, and a week later, on Jan. 31, family members contacted Sgt. Andy Hynek, commander of the La Porte County Drug Task Force, according to a statement from the sheriff's office.

The family members said Larry Wozniak "died under suspicious circumstances" and "Hynek immediately launched an investigation due to the death possibly being drug-related," according to Capt. Derek Allen of the sheriff's office.

The cause of death was still pending investigation, according to the La Porte County Coroner's office.

Detectives from the task force spent the next week investigating and conducting interviews, and, "As a result, Joshua Wozniak was identified as having a direct role in the death of his father," Allen said.

On Feb. 4, Joshua Wozniak was formally interviewed regarding his father's death, and "based upon the findings of the investigation and interview," information was presented to the La Porte County Prosecutor's office, Allen said.

Joshua Wozniak was arrested Feb. 3, and is being held at the La Porte County Jail on a $105,000 cash bond, according to the sheriff's office.

At the time of his arrest, he was also facing several unrelated charges, stemming from an incident the day after his father's death, according to the sheriff's office. He was arrested on drug charges after being found passed out in a vehicle in a mobile home early Jan. 25, according to Michigan City Police.

He faces felony counts of possession of cocaine, possession of heroin, and unlawful possession of a syringe; and a misdemeanor count of possession of paraphernalia, according to court records. He had been released on his own recognizance on those counts.

MCPD officers were called about 12:30 a.m. to Terrace Acres, just off U.S. 20, for a domestic disturbance. They found a parked truck with a man slumped over in the passenger seat, according to a police report. The vehicle wasn't running and it was about 9 degrees outside, with a wind chill of -6.

There was also a small dog in the truck with the man, who was "passed out but still shivering from the extremely low temperatures," the officer wrote in the report. "I was in fear for the subject's safety since it was so cold. I started knocking on the window ... The subject was startled, however woke up and opened the door."

Wozniak said he was not in need of medical attention, but when the officer looked into the truck, he saw a glass smoking pipe and detained Wozniak for possession of paraphernalia, the report said. Two more pipes were found when he was searched.

Also found was a plastic container with a bag of "off-white rocky substance" inside, which tested positive as crack cocaine, the report said. Another bag was found containing a "brownish rocky/powdery substance," which tested positive as heroin, police said. A used syringe was found in the center console.

The investigation into the new charge is ongoing, and anyone with additional information regarding the death of Larry Wozniak should call Hynek at (219) 874-3221, ext. 1059.

—From staff reports

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