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Another Victim ID'd In Gary Serial Murders

(STMW) -- Another victim of suspected serial killer Darren Vann has a name.

A body found Oct. 19 in a vacant house at 2200 Massachusetts St. has been identified as Tracy Martin, 41, of Gary.

Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey issued a news release Friday afternoon, stating that the Indiana State Police laboratory used DNA testing to confirm the identity of the decomposed body that was found in the wake of Vann's confession that he killed several women and hid their bodies in abandoned homes in the city.

Martin is the fifth of seven women to be identified.

Vann is being held without bail at the county jail on two murder charges. Additional charges have been delayed while police wait for Frey to declare the women as homicide victims. In Friday's release, Frey makes no mention of the cause or manner of Martin's death.

The case against Vann, 43, of Gary, broke when Hammond police found Afrika Hardy, 19, dead in motel bathtub on Oct. 17 and determined that Vann had been with her at the motel.

He was arrested the following day after police traced Hardy's cellphone to him. Vann admitted killing several women and told police where the bodies could be found.

Three women were found in two adjacent abandoned houses at 43rd Avenue and Delaware Street. Two remain unidentified, but the third was Anith Jones, 35, whose sister had reported her missing days before her body was discovered.

The body of Kristine Williams, 36, was in a vacant house at 4330 Massachusetts St., and Tearia Batey, 28, was found in a vacant unit at the Dorie Miller Housing Development.

Lake County prosecutors on Friday obtained five search warrants related to Vann's case. The warrants are sealed and a gag order prohibits investigators from speaking publicly about the case.

Vann is next scheduled to appear Feb. 13 in Lake Superior Court.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2015. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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