Man arrested in 1992 murder of 4-yo and mom


The woman and child were found shot to death in an apartment in Gary on July 15, 1992.

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. — The FBI announced Monday a Tennessee man has been arrested in the 1992 murders of a 4-year-old and her mother in Indiana. 

Officials say 57-year-old Victor Lofton of Humboldt, TN, was charged in Lake County Superior Court on Feb. 2, 2021, with two counts of murder for the 1992 deaths of 4-year-old DenNisha Howard and her 21-year-old mother, Felicia Howard.

DenNisha and Felicia were found shot to death inside their second-floor apartment in Gary, Indiana on July 15, 1992.

The charges against Lofton are the culmination of work by the FBI’s Gang Response Investigative Team (GRIT) who began re-investigating the case in February 2019.

“This was a horrific crime that shocked our local community in 1992,” said Det. Lt. Nicholas Wardrip of the Hobart Police Dept. “Lofton was born in East Chicago, IN but moved to Tennessee at an early age. Lofton was interviewed by investigators in September 2020; however, he denied knowing either victim or even being in Indiana at the time of the murders. Investigators utilized DNA technology and interviewed witnesses to bring the case together against Lofton.”

Lofton was arrested in Jackson, Tennessee by Jackson Police on Feb. 5, 2021 and is currently awaiting extradition back to Lake County.

“This case should serve as notice to those committing violent crimes in Northwest Indiana that the tireless investigators of the FBI’s GRIT Task Force will never rest to ensure justice for those who have been victimized, even if it’s 29 years later,” said FBI Indianapolis GRIT Task Force Supervisory Special Agent Michael Peasley.

This is the ninth cold case GRIT has solved since 2018. GRIT investigators are asking anyone with information on a cold case to call 219-942-4899.