News and HeadlinesIndianapolis Local NewsCrime


Columbus man found guilty of murdering, burying girlfriend in shallow grave

Heather Ann Steuver.png
Posted at 2:01 PM, Feb 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-17 17:28:19-05

BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY — The Columbus man charged with murdering his girlfriend and burying her in a shallow grave in August 2021 has been found guilty after a week-long jury trial in Bartholomew County.

Patrick Doyle, was convicted on the charge of murder and the add-on charge of habitual offender after about an hour of deliberation.

Habitual offender is a status that results in an enhanced sentence. It is not a separate crime and does not result in a consecutive sentence.

"While we know this doesn’t right the wrong, getting justice for Heather and her family is the best way that we, as prosecutors, can honor her memory. I am thankful to the jury for their careful consideration of this case and for returning the verdict that justice required," Bartholomew County Prosecutor Lindsey Holden – Kay said in a statement.

According to court documents, Heather Steuver, 37, was reported missing on August 26, 2021 by her mother. Later that day, Steuver's mother found blood in the bedroom shared by Steuver and Doyle.

According to court records, on September 9, 2021 Doyle told an investigator he woke up on August 22 and found Steuver dead next to him. He said there was blood on himself and injuries to Steuver's face.

"Patrick was adamant that he had physically caused Heather's death but he was unsure how he did so because he was intoxicated at the time," the affidavit read.

Doyle then told authorities he took Steuver's body to the company where he worked and covered her body with rocks. He also put her belongings in a pillowcase and threw them into a lake on the property.

A jury was brought in from Shelby County for the trial due to media coverage, the prosecutor's office said.

During the investigation, Doyle was found to be in possession of child pornography, which he is scheduled to be in court for in March.

A change of plea hearing for those charges are scheduled for March 27.