Details emerge in murder of Zionsville woman


Details surrounding the gruesome murder of a Zionsville woman believed to be Kristin Bixler have emerged with the filing of a probable cause affidavit in Boone County Circuit Court April 11 supporting murder charges for Graham Bixler, 30, of Zionsville.

Graham Bixler

Graham Bixler was arrested April 9 on one count of murder. He is being held in the Boone County Jail.

Zionsville Police Department officers discovered the body of a woman at Kristin Bixler’s home in the 5300 block of Old 106th Street April 8. Following an autopsy the same day, the cause of death was determined to be blunt-force trauma and sharp-force injuries. Because of multiple, significant injuries to the deceased, the Boone County Coroner’s office has not yet officially identified the body as Kristin Bixler; however, police believe there is sufficient evidence to believe she is the decedent, according to the affidavit.

Per the affidavit, Kristin Bixler’s mother, Susan Smith, called Zionsville police April 8 to request a welfare check, stating that she had not heard from her daughter since April 2.

According to that report, Smith said Bixler’s son, Graham Bixler, had previous interactions with law enforcement, had struggled with mental illness and had allegedly been violent with his mother in the past.

When officers approached the property on April 8, they were unable to make contact with anyone inside the residence. A subsequent search of the property revealed an open window and miscellaneous items strewn about the property, including bloody clothes. Further investigation uncovered the body of a deceased female with multiple, significant injuries who appeared to have been dead for at least 24 hours. Multiple holes had also been dug in the vicinity of the body.

Officers also observed a black pickup truck stuck in the mud on the property.

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A black pickup truck stuck in the mud behind the home believed to be used by Graham Bixler. (Photo by Zach Ross)

Further investigation revealed that Graham Bixler had recently been driving that truck, which belongs to his father, Gregory Bixler.

Zionsville law enforcement was later informed that Graham Bixler had been picked up by Carmel Police Department officers April 7 while driving his mother’s vehicle and had been transported to St. Vincent Hospital.

After securing a search warrant for the home, Zionsville police uncovered multiple items covered in what appeared to be blood, according to the affidavit, including a rock, grill covers, clothing and three hand-held saws.

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A hole in the woods where a neighbor said the body of a woman was found in the 5300 block of Old 106th Street April 8. (Photo by Zach Ross)

Interviews with family members and neighbors indicate that Graham Bixler had moved into his mother’s residence in March. Neighbors said they witnessed him engage in odd behavior, including standing in the driveway clad only in a blanket or walking around the property nude while screaming.

UPDATE 4/12/2024:

Graham M. Bixler appeared for a video arraignment April 12 and entered a not guilty plea for a charge of murder. Judge Lori Schein ordered him held without bond in the Boone County Jail and he was assigned a public defender. A pretrial conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. June 12.