Sisters charged after pursuit spans 3 counties

Herald Staff Writer

VELPEN — Police charged two sisters after a Tuesday evening pursuit through Pike, Dubois and Spencer counties.


Indiana State Police said the incident began at 4:11 p.m. when the Pike County Sheriff’s Department, state troopers and Indiana conservation officers responded to 4713 S. Third St. in Velpen to investigate a possible intruder at that residence.

When officers arrived, police said, the front door was open. A quick search revealed no one was inside the residence, but drug paraphernalia was in plain view. The homeowner, Tina Winchell, 47, was detained while a trooper left to obtain a search warrant.

Winchell’s sister, Lisa Schaefer, 52, 19748 N. Fourth St., St. Meinrad, later arrived at the residence driving a 2001 maroon Cadillac, police said. Winchell grabbed her 3-year-old daughter, got inside Schaefer’s car and fled, according to authorities.

Schaefer was driving and refused to stop for a Pike County sheriff’s deputy and a conservation officer. She led police down several back roads between Velpen and Huntingburg. Schaefer was driving nearly 100 mph at times and on several occasions attempted to ram the Pike County deputy’s car, according to state police.

Dubois County law enforcement officers were notified at 7:30 p.m. that law enforcement was in pursuit of the fleeing car.

Officers with the Dubois County Sheriff’s Department and Huntingburg Police Department joined the pursuit at County Road 400W and 12th Street, west of Huntingburg. The chase continued into the city and then south on U.S. 231, according to Huntingburg police.

At one point, the Cadillac, which was passing cars and darting around police vehicles that had gotten in front of it, went through the Kars parking lot before exiting back onto U.S. 231 to continue south. While in the Kars lot, the ball joint on one Dubois County sheriff’s deputy’s car gave out, disabling it. One of the older cars in the Huntingburg police fleet was sideswiped by the Cadillac south of Huntingburg but it was barely scraped, according to Assistant Chief Ronnie Bowman.

The chase continued into Spencer County and was terminated when Schaefer stopped the Cadillac just north of Dale.

No one was injured.

The sisters were arrested and Winchell’s daughter was released to a family member. Winchell and Schaefer were taken to the Pike County Jail where they are being held on bond.

During the search of the residence, officers reported finding more than a dozen pieces of aluminum foil with burnt residue that tested positive for methamphetamine. One of the pieces of aluminum foil was located under the child’s bed near some of her toys, according to police, who also reported locating a glass smoking pipe and glass snorting tubes. Multiple open alcohol containers were found throughout the residence, police said.

Police charged Winchell with Class D felony counts of maintaining a common nuisance, neglect of a dependant and fleeing from lawful detention, plus misdemeanor counts of resisting law enforcement and possession of paraphernalia.

Schaefer was charged with Class D felony counts of assisting a criminal, resisting law enforcement with a vehicle and criminal recklessness.

Police said the investigation is continuing and additional charges are expected to be filed in Dubois County.

The Dale Town Marshal’s Office and the Santa Claus and Petersburg police departments assisted.

Contact Bill Powell at

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