On May 23, 2007, one of the most violent crimes Kosciusko County has even seen played out over a span of just minutes and left two people dead and many lives forever changed.
As the clock struck 5 p.m. on that fateful Wednesday afternoon, Omar Mora calmly walked into the Phillips 66 gas station on Center Street in Warsaw.
According to witnesses, Mora asked store manager Harpel Singh to accompany him outside for a talk, allegedly concerning a relationship between Singh and Mora’s wife, Lisa Heather Bowdler-Mora.
Police would learn that as Singh stepped outside a rear entrance of the gas station, Mora, fueled by jealousy, reached into his parked truck, pulled out a 9 mm handgun and shot Singh several times in the face and chest, then sped away. Singh died almost instantly.
Within minutes, Mora arrived at his own home on Vicky Lane to confront his wife who was home with the couple’s two young children, ages 2 years and 7 years old. After shooting his way into the home through a garage entry door, Mora shot and killed his wife in a hallway of their home as the children watched in horror.
Lisa Heather Bowdler died a few hours later.
As Warsaw, Kosciusko County and Indiana State police conducted their investigations into the two murders, they determined Omar Mora’s plan was likely a premeditated act of jealousy and rage.
Although Mora, then 31, left behind his passport, wallet and credit cards, he was still able to escape Indiana and has eluded authorities ever since.
Now approaching the fifth anniversary of the killings, Kosciusko County Prosecutor Dan Hampton tells StaceyPageOnline.com exclusively, “I’m confident we’re going to catch him. We’ve been so close to capturing him a few times then something falls apart.”
Part of the problem, explains Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department Detective Jon Tyler, is Mora’s citizenship. He says, “Mora was not a U.S. citizen. He was in the process but never completed his citizenship.” Because of that, authorities think he likely fled to Mexico and possibly has had his family’s help in hiding out all these years.
And, because Mora is not a U.S. citizen, getting arrest warrants for him in Mexico have taken time. Hampton tells that obtaining assistance from Mexican authorities has not been easy. “We’ve had to deal with politics between the U.S. and Mexico. The relationship just isn’t as good as some people perceive,” he says. “It took about two and a half years to get an arrest warrant in Mexico.”
Now, with active warrants in both the U.S. and in Mexico, police believe it’s only a matter of time before Mora is located and taken into custody. “That’s not to insinuate the strength of our case,” says Hampton, only that the ability to serve an arrest warrant is carried out.
Tyler adds, “The fact that he’s not a U.S. citizen doesn’t change how he’s tried for crimes committed here, but it does change the process of getting him back here.”
Immediately after the shooting deaths in 2007, the only break in the case came two months later when Mora’s black 2003 Chevy Silverado pickup truck was located in a residential area north of Chicago. It had apparently been parked there immediately after the murders and had several parking tickets on it when authorities in Chicago finally moved to impound the truck and run the plate number.
Since the 2007 murders, Tyler says the case has remained open and active. It has twice been featured on America’s Most Wanted and Tyler says they continue to receive tips on Mora’s whereabouts. “We still get tips on occasion and have gotten them from New York to California, Columbus, Ohio; southern Michigan and even from Facebook.” he adds, “We even had one from Walmart here in town. A lady was in the produce department and swore he was next to her.”
But so far, none of those tips have panned out.
Hampton says he continues to receive updates from intelligence still continuously working on the case and again, he is confident that Mora will eventually be brought to justice.