Beloved Gary Restaurant Owners Found Dead in Their Home

Leila Edwards’ death has been ruled a homicide and Michael Edwards cause and manner of death are pending autopsy.

September 17, 2017-Leila Edwards was not just any resident of Gary, the long-time business owner and activist was known and loved by many in the tight knit beach community. Big Ben’s Bodacious Barbecue, which was owned by Leila Edwards and Michael Watkins, was a popular local spot. But Leila was more well known for her stained glass and jewelry business which was attached to the restaurant at 900 Shelby in the Miller section of Gary. In addition to making and selling stained glass and jewelry, Leila offered classes in her studio. Yesterday many were shocked by news tht Leila Edwards had been murdered in her home which spread quickly on social media.

According to Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey, investigators were summoned to 7235 East 1st Street in Gary at 9:15 am on September 16. Property records show that the Leila and Michael purchased the home at this address together in 2006. Upon arrival, investigators found 43 year old Leila Edwards had suffered multiple gun shot wounds. She was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:22 a.m. Michael Watkins was also pronounced dead at the scene at 10:22 a.m. According to Coroner Frey, an autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow to determine the cause of death of Mr. Watkins and no other information is available at this time. Gary Police have not yet issued a statement regarding the incident.

We will update you when additional information becomes available.


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