Man Charged With Killing Mother’s Partner With Hammer

Posted at 4:12 PM, Jul 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-08 16:12:04-04

SWITZERLAND COUNTY, In. (WLWT) – The normally quiet community of Florence in Switzerland County, Indiana, is now the site of a murder investigation LEX 18 affiliate WLWT reports.

“This is a place you never worried about crime, but the world is changing around us, unfortunately everywhere,” Jason Scudder said.

Scudder, like other people who live nearby where human remains were found, said the murder investigation is disturbing.

“It was a surprise to all of us. We’re pretty quiet and peaceful out here in the country,” Scudder said. “Naturally we don’t like that kind of thing around here and we hope we don’t have any more of it.”

On June 2, deputies were called to a home on Beatty Ridge Road for a domestic dispute between Dennis Dziwulski and a woman who deputies said they learned were living together in a home as a married couple.

No arrests were made, but deputies ordered Justin Girdler, who they said was armed with a hammer, to leave the home. Girdler is the woman’s son and was visiting.

Three weeks later, investigators say they returned to the home after a relative reported Dziwulski missing and Kentucky police found his abandoned car.

When detectives searched the home, they said they discovered blood inside and human remains about 50 yards away in the woods.

According to a court affidavit, detectives said Girdler admitted he struck Dziwulski in the head three times with a hammer, but he said it was after his mother struck Dziwulski with a cast iron skillet. Detectives said both mother and son tried to cover for each other.

Girdler was arrested and is being held in the Switzerland County jail. He’s charged with murder and obstruction of justice.

As of Friday night, the human remains discovered in the woods have yet to be positively identified. However, detectives believe them to be Dziwulski because of statements made by Girdler and his mother andthe remains were discovered in the area where they said Girdler claimed he helped place Dziwulski’s body.

Three other people are named in the affidavit, but none have been charged.