An arrest warrant has been issued in Howard County in connection with a murder, rape, and kidnapping case in Kokomo going back four years. The warrant charges 48-year-old Jerry Brackett with the murder of 70-year-old Joseph Elvin Pate. Brackett is also charged with the kidnapping and rape of Pate’s wife Mary.
In January of 2003, police began searching for the Pates after relatives hadn’t heard from the couple for several days. Police found the body of Joseph Pate at the couple’s home, and suspected that Mary Pate had been kidnapped. A day later, Mary Pate escaped from Brackett at a rest stop in Arizona. Police arrived at the rest stop and found Brackett in a van in the parking lot.
Major Don Whitehead of the Kokomo police says that Brackett was taken into custody shortly thereafter. Police in Kokomo have continued their investigation into the local charges while Brackett is serving time in Arizona. Whitehead says Kokomo police have had ample time to investigate the case, since Brackett isn’t eligible for release on the earlier charges until 2036. The arrest warrant has been forwarded to Arizona, and arrangements will be made to transfer Brackett back to Howard County to stand trial.