Fort Wayne police arrested a man Tuesday for the slayings of a man and woman in 2017.

Dustin M. Neal, 35, of Fort Wayne, is charged with two counts of murder, two counts of felony murder and two counts of felony robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, according to online court records. A felony murder charge differs from a murder charge in that it’s for a homicide that occurs during the commission of another crime.

Neal is accused of killing Noele Trice, 25, and Bryan Lash, 29, in their Weisser Park Avenue home in the early hours of June 10, 2017.

The charges were filed Friday along with an arrest warrant for Neal.

Police were able to name Neal as the suspect because of information provided in early July by someone who heard details about the slayings, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Neal had allegedly told people that he broke into the home to steal marijuana that Trice was selling. Neal went in through a window and thought no one was home, according to court documents. Lash woke up first after Neal entered the bedroom, and Neal stabbed him. A person who talked with police in October corroborated that story.

The noise woke up Trice, and Neal stabbed her, too, the probable cause affidavit states. Neal told people he stabbed her multiple times. The Allen County coroner’s report stated that Trice had “significant defensive wounds to her hands, arms, legs and feet” in addition to the fatal wounds, court records said.

Neal spent time at a friend’s home in New Haven, based on cellphone records. They allegedly burned Neal’s clothes in a fire pit.

According to multiple witness accounts, Neal stole 1 to 3 pounds of marijuana and tried to sell it. In a June 17, 2017, interview with police, Neal said he knew Trice had the marijuana, and the quality of it meant it would sell for $4,000 a pound.

Trice’s sister told police a television and a VCR were missing when the bodies of Trice and Lash were found.

Neal told police he’d known Trice and Lash for about 20 years and had been at a barbecue they held the day before the murders for people to watch the basketball game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. He said he didn’t see Trice sell any marijuana during the gathering.

Trice’s sister told police most of the six people attending were there to buy marijuana. After others left, the sister and another person stayed to play cards with Lash and Trice until about 3 a.m.

At the scene, police found Trice’s cellphone, which had a palm print that matched Neal’s, the probable cause affidavit said. Records of Neal’s cellphone, from an analysis done by the FBI, show his phone was near Lash’s and Trice’s home between 6:20 a.m. and 7:04 a.m. June 10, 2017.

Neal told police that he’d left the party about midnight, went to his mother’s home for a while, then went to a friend’s home in New Haven. Cellphone records showed his phone was in the area of that home from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. and again after 8 a.m.

He maintained he never returned to where Lash and Trice were found, court records said.

Multiple witnesses told police that Neal was trying to sell marijuana June 10. One witness expressed surprise that Neal had 1 to 2 pounds of high-grade marijuana, “because Dustin was broke and using cocaine at the time,” according to the probable cause affidavit.

There are no court dates set for Neal, according to online court records.

The Fort Wayne Homicide Division and Cold Case Unit will continue the investigation. The police department has asked that anyone with information about the case call Detective Brian Martin at 427-1369 or call Crime Stoppers at 436-7867. They can also report information using the P3 Tips app.

Local Government and General Assignment Reporter

Reporter James D. Wolf Jr. began working as a journalist in 1987 while earning his bachelor’s degree at Purdue University Calumet. He has worked in Indiana, Iowa and Illinois.