INDIANAPOLIS – An Indiana man who served 25 years behind bars for killing and dismembering a woman was ordered back to prison Tuesday when his parole was revoked by officials who were alarmed because he got into a car occupied only by a female driver.
The Indiana Parole Board ordered Robert Evan Lee to return to prison until 2029 to finish the remainder of his 60-year sentence for the 1986 slaying of 31-year-old Ellen Marks, of Bloomington, whose head and hands were never found. Officials said they would review his case in one year.
Lee, 57, obtained early release in September by earning good-time credit and completing two vocational degrees and two college degrees behind bars. He said he tried to settle in three communities but moved because of public outcry. He had been living at a state work-release center in South Bend for about a month when he was charged with violating parole and returned to custody.
Lee, who appeared by video from the state prison in Westville while the board met in Indianapolis, told officials he had meant no harm but understood why people were concerned when he got into a car with a woman who stopped to ask directions to the work-release center.
All I know is, she was somebody who was asking for directions, who was asking for help, Lee said.
But parole officials said Lee had been prohibited from hitchhiking and they were concerned about his motivations. They were even more disturbed after Lee told them the route passed through a wooded area.