Indiana man accused in death of baby boy will return to St. Clair County

News-DemocratSeptember 16, 2013 

An Indiana man accused in the death of a baby boy in St. Clair County more than 40 years ago has agreed to be brought back to Illinois to face the murder charge.

Gary Warwick, 62, of Portage, Ind., waived extradition during a hearing Monday in Indiana's Porter County, where he was arrested last Thursday.

He will face murder charges in St. Clair County related to the December 1972 death of 1-year-old Joseph Henry Abernathy III, whose mother lived near Washington Park.

Authorities said Warwick was dating the boy's mother, Cathie Mehlville, but was not the boy's father.

According to warrants issued by the St. Clair County state's attorney's office, Warwick "allegedly, without lawful justification, struck and beat Joseph Henry Abernathy III, a 1-year-old child, knowing such acts created a strong probability of death or great bodily harm."

Warwick was charged in 1973 in the baby's death, but the case was later dismissed without explanation. Investigators haven't revealed what led to the new charges.

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