A second arrest is made in the ongoing Beatty Ridge murder investigation

A second arrest has been made in the murder investigation being led by the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Department.


A second arrest has been made in the murder investigation being led by the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Department.
A body tentatively identified as Dennis Dziwulski was found in the woods off of Beatty Ridge near Florence in Switzerland County on June 25th. That led to the arrest of Justin L. Girdler on July 3rd. Girdler was charged with one count of murder and three counts of obstruction of justice and remains housed in the Switzerland County Jail.
As the investigation continues, on Wednesday, July 18th, a new Probable Cause Affidavit was filed with the Switzerland County Clerk of the Circuit Court by Detective Brent Miller of the Indiana State Police. In the affidavit, Vivian M. Moore, the mother of Girdler and the girlfriend of Dziwulski, has been charged with: Murder; Aiding in Murder; and Obstruction of Justice.
Moore was arrested in Elizabethtown, Kentucky on the Switzerland County warrant, and was put in the Elizabethtown detention center while awaiting extradition back to Switzerland County. Local law enforcement officials believe that Moore should be returned here by the end of the week.
Much of the Probable Cause Affidavit is consistent with the affidavit filed that led to the charges against Girdler: that on June 2nd Switzerland County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a residence on Beatty Ridge after a 911 call was received. The 911 call was made by Girdler and he reported a domestic abuse incident at his mother’s home. Girdler advised the dispatcher who took the 911 call that Girdler was armed with a sledgehammer for protection from Dziwulski, and once on the scene, deputies found Girdler in possession of a hammer, which he was order to lay aside.
After the investigation, Girdler and Moore left the residence that evening; and on June 3rd, Kentucky State Police officers contacted the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Department to advise that they had discovered an abandoned vehicle registered to Dziwulski along a dead end road in Carroll County. Attempts to contact Dziwulski to remove the vehicle were unsuccessful.
On June 22nd, Doug Dziwulski, brother of Dennis Dziwulski, of Maryland, spoke with Switzerland County Sheriff’s detective Chris Curry about his concern for his brother’s welfare, noting that he had not spoken to Dennis since June 2nd. Doug Dziwulski also stated that he had spoken with Moore in an attempt to find out about his brother, and he stated that she told him that Dennis had moved back to Maryland after the couple split up on June 2nd. On June 22nd, the detective said that he spoke with Moore about Dziwulski’s disappearance, and she told the detective that Dziwulski had moved back to Maryland. At that time she told authorities that after leaving the home on June 2nd (the night of the 911 call), that she and her son returned to the residence and that he dropped her off. She stated that at that time she noticed that Dziwulski had packed all of his clothes in his vehicle and an argument ensued, which led to a physical confrontation. She stated that Dziwulski then threw and broke his cell phone before walking out the door and saying that he was moving back to Maryland. Moore said that was the last time she had seen him.
After that conversation, Detective Curry received permission from the landlord of the Beatty Ridge property to inspect the mobile home and the area. During that inspection, Curry found evidence of a “significant blood-related event” in the living room area of the home. During a search of the surrounding area, authorities found unidentified human remains approximately 50 yards from the home in the woods.
During another interview a few days following the discovery, Moore initially claimed that she killed Dziwulski after striking him in the head numerous times with a cast iron skillet and that Girdler was a witness to the killing. Moore claimed that she killed Dziwulski as a result of his physical and mental abuse; and took the opportunity to kill him while he slept on the couch of the home. Moore later changed her statement to say that Girdler struck Dziwulski in the head with a hammer two times after Moore and Dziwulski had been engaged in a verbal argument. Moore in the interview that, “Dziwulski was laying awake on the couch at the time and felt that Girdler’s actions were unprovoked.” Moore told authorities that she initially claimed responsibility in order to protect her son.
In another interview with Girdler a couple of days later, Girdler initially claimed that when he arrived at the home that night that his mother had already killed Dziwulski; but later changed his story, indicating that he saw Moore kill Dziwulski with a cast iron skillet as Dziwulski lay on the couch; but then later again changed his story to admit that he struck Dziwulski three times in the head with a hammer after Moore had already struck the victim with the skillet. Girdler said that he felt forced to hit Dziwulski after being intimidated by his mother.
Both Moore and Girdler were consistent in their statements that, following the killing, they moved Dziwulski’s body from the home and put it beneath the trailer; and then returned on the evening of June 3rd and moved the body into the woods. Moore’s statement said that after the body was placed under the trailer, Girdler, his girlfriend Victoria Hall, and her brother, Michael Hall, drove Dziwulski’s vehicle from the residence and abandoned it in Kentucky. Video evidence from the Circle K store at the Markland Dam, captured images of vehicles and people consistent with Moore’s statement.

Vivian M. Moore

In the new Probable Cause Affidavit, Detective Miller provides more information:
“Justin Girdler was arrested on July 3, 2018, in reference to a Murder warrant issued in this matter by the Switzerland County Circuit Court. During an interview conducted by Detective Curry, Girdler said that after leaving Vivian’s residence on June 2, 2018, after their interaction with Deputies from the SCSO, he dropped off his children and then picked up Michael Hall. Girdler said Michael Hall had a baseball bat when they picked him up. Girdler said that when they returned to the residence it was dark outside, Girdler said that while in the trailer they saw Vivian strike Dennis with the skillet approximately 15 times and that Dennis was on the couch. Girdler stated that he struck Dennis approximately 3 times with a hammer and Michael Hall struck Dennis with a baseball bat approximately 3 times. Girdler said while Vivian was hitting Dennis he screamed ‘stop’. Girdler said Vivian threatened him and told him he had to help or he would end up the same as Dennis. Girdler said Vivian made him get the hammer and made him strike Dennis. Girdler said Vivian wrapped Dennis’ body and Michael Hall dragged Dennis’ body outside the residence. Girdler said Vivian attempted to clean up Dennis’ blood in the residence.
“Michael Hall was interviewed by police on several occasions. Michael Hall told Detectives that he watched Vivian hit Dennis with a skillet. Michael Hall said Dennis was asleep on the couch when Vivian did this. Michael Hall said he was threatened by Vivian and made to help move Dennis’ body underneath the residence before riding with Girdler to dispose of Dennis’ vehicle. Michael said Girdler made him hit Dennis with a hammer one time in the head, During interviews Michael told Detectives that when he was picked up by Girdler that night Girdler suggested that he bring a baseball bat for protection. Michael gave slightly differing accounts of the events that night. During the most recent interview, Michael said he and Girdler entered the rear of the residence while Vivian entered the front of the residence that night. Michael said he saw Vivian hit Dennis in the head with a skillet more than once, Michael said he saw Justin hit Dennis in the head with a hammer more than once. Michael said he hit Dennis in the head with a hammer one time, after Dennis was dead, because he was being threatened.”
The probable cause affidavit is an official detailed document that law enforcement officers use to present evidence in an attempt to secure an arrest warrant. It is noted that all persons are assumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Anyone having any additional information on this case or other cases, should contact the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Department at (812) 427-3636.