Lebanon police officer found dead

Terry 'T.J.' L. Nelson Jr.

Lebanon Police Department Officer Terry L. Nelson Jr., 42, was found dead in his home early Monday.

No foul play is suspected, according to a press release issued by Ben Phelps, LPD public information officer.

LPD officers and Boone County Sheriff’s deputies found Nelson’s body at about 12:26 a.m.

‘T.J.’ Nelson was a lifelong resident of Lebanon and an 18-year veteran of the department. He served in various capacities with LPD, including crime scene investigations and as a Taser instructor.

Nelson was credited of saving lives during a fire at Eastwood Apartments, 323 N. East St., on July 3, 2011.

Nelson, along with LPD officers Tony Bayles, Rich Mount and Jeff Nelson rescued several people, including a family that was leaning out a second-floor window, using a ladder borrowed from an adjacent home. Officers also entered the burning building to help tenants fleeing the structure.

As a result, Nelson was awarded the Medal of Valor by the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office, was named Officer of the Year by the Boone County Fraternal Order of Police, and received the Elk’s Citizen Award.

The Carmel Police Department and Boone County Coroner’s office are investigating Nelson’s death. It is LPD policy to turn investigations involving LPD officers over to an outside agency.

“During this difficult time, we ask that the privacy of Officer Nelson’s family, friends and co-workers be respected,” Phelps wrote on behalf of the department.

Nelson's children attend Lebanon Community Schools, and the corporation sent a note home to parents Monday, indicating that counselors will be available for students in any grade from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. this week at the high school. Any student in immediate crisis after those hours may call Pascal Fettig at 765-366-1050 at any time.