- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 22, 2015

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) - Federal prosecutors have charged a man with lying to FBI agents who were investigating the death of a 15-year-old girl whose body was found at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in 1995.

Barry Taylor, a 34-year-old from Gary, was charged in an indictment unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court in Hammond, the Post-Tribune reported (https://trib.in/1Fdsleh ).

Agents were investigating the death of a girl identified only as J.W. whose body was found in the park on Aug. 8, 1995, the indictment said. The description matches that of Johnice “China” White, whose body was found 30 hours after she disappeared. She had been beaten and died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Taylor, who would have been a teenager when White died, was interviewed by agents in January 2012. He denied having had sex with White or knowing anyone who had, and said there was no reason his DNA would have been on her body, the indictment said. However, his DNA was later found to match DNA found on White’s underwear.

Taylor was arrested Monday. A detention hearing and arraignment is scheduled for Thursday. Court records indicated Taylor has requested a court-appointed attorney.

White disappeared just hours after her family celebrated her 15th birthday, and police and community members searched for her until her body was found at the bottom of a hill, with her bicycle nearby.

Community members initially offered a reward of $1,000 for information helping to solve the case, and the FBI offered a reward of $3,000 in 1997. The FBI investigated because White’s body was found on national park land.

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Information from: Post-Tribune, https://posttrib.chicagotribune.com/

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