Court documents: Odon man stalked victims with cameras and GPS tracking

ODON, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Rammed vehicles, secret surveillance cameras, drugs, cell phone location tracking, threatening phone calls and violations of protective orders.

These are just a few of the crimes listed in a Daviess County affidavit regarding the arrest of Matthew Cornelius, 45, of Odon, Indiana.

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Indiana State Police arrested Cornelius after a brief altercation and search of his home on April 18.

Improper investigations

In the affidavit, an Indiana State Police investigator wrote that he was provided with details of crimes allegedly committed by Cornelius, including drug possession, stalking, domestic violence and violating an emergency protective order.

“He stated that these crimes were committed by Matthew Cornelius against VICTIM 1. Sergeant Allen also stated that Mr. Cornelius’ father was very wealthy and influential in Daviess County and these crimes were not being properly investigated.”

Affidavit of probable cause was filed in Daviess County Court

A Department of Children's Services social worker told police that DCS investigated nine domestic assault cases committed by Cornelius, but none of the crimes resulted in criminal charges. DCS officers tried to get Cornelius to take drug tests. However, he reportedly told them that he had been ordained as a “medicine man” by a Native American tribe and could legally possess marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms.

“She (Victim 1) said that the police were called to her home on April 5 or 6, 2024 (she did not know the date) because Mr. Cornelius was trespassing. She said that during that encounter, police learned that an EPA had been issued against the VICTIM to protect Mr. Cornelius and the children from her. She said police were shocked that Judge would issue an EPA and remove the children from her custody. She said local police were shocked by Mr Cornelius' drug use and violence. The victim advocate stated that in all her years as a victim advocate, she had never seen a judge make such a decision. She said the judge ordered VICTIM 1's vehicle to be locked without an evidentiary hearing taking place. She was also ordered to undergo a drug test using a hair follicle test.”

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Vehicle ramming incident

A DCS employee also told police about an incident in which Cornelius reportedly used his father's vehicle to ram Victim 1's vehicle after she picked up the children from school when she was told by school staff that Cornelius had not done this.

The victim explained that she took the children to Cornelius' parents' house, and when Cornelius arrived, he was angry that she had the children. When the victim refused to roll down the window to speak to Cornelius, he reportedly threatened to ram her vehicle and then did so.

“Several children were present when the incident occurred. The Daviess County Sheriff's Office arrived and a deputy interviewed VICTIM 2, VICTIM 3, VICTIM 4 and VICTIM 5, all juveniles. Supposedly they all declared that Mr. Cornelius had done nothing wrong. However, a third, unrelated juvenile who was in the vehicle said it was an intentional ram,” the document states.

“The Daviess County Sheriff’s Office was contacted and responded. However, according to VICTIM 1, the deputy first spoke to Mr. Cornelius' parents, then to Matthew Cornelius, and finally to her. No enforcement action was taken following the investigation,” the PCA states.

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Tracking and Abuse

Victim 1 gave police several recordings and pieces of technology that she claimed showed Cornelius continued to stalk her even after a protection order was issued. One such technological device was a camera that Cornelius installed after he broke into her house and angled the camera so that she could see her bed. Another was a cell phone connected to a portable charger found in the luggage bag on the back of a seat in her vehicle, as well as two Apple ID tags.

“VICTIM 1 discussed an incident in August 2023 in which Mr. Cornelius pinned her against the wall and choked her in front of her children,” police wrote.

Another victim, listed as VICTIM 6, told police that in February she woke up to find Cornelius standing next to her in her home. She said the man was angry and wanted to know where Victim 1 was. She reportedly asked Cornelius to leave. “She also said she saw Mr. Cornelius strangling and abusing VICTIM 1 in her apartment in 2023.”

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Threatening news

In a review of phone records given to police, an ISP investigator concluded that Cornelius was “angry and threatening” and that he appeared paranoid and controlling and wanted to know where the victim was and who he was with.

“In this recording, Mr. Cornelius stated that VICTIM 1 will fuck him daily and fuck him weekly. He explained that VICTIM 1 was his part of ** and that he would shoot her if she fucked someone else. Mr. Cornelius is threatening to kill VICTIM 1 and bury him under the pond,” police wrote.

Another recording claimed that the victim was “going to break down, limp, and have an accident very soon.”

Another explained that the victim would receive a punch in the mouth and that she “deserved a slap in the face.”

When speaking to police, Cornelius reportedly admitted it was his voice on the phone, but downplayed the statements as “sexual role play.”

Search and arrest

On April 18, an ISP SWAT team surrounded the residence and ordered Cornelius out of the building. Police wrote that he did not immediately surrender and was observed moving around the apartment with his child. After 20 minutes, the two left the residence and Cornelius surrendered.

Police reported finding methamphetamine, marijuana, psychedelic mushrooms and drug paraphernalia. They also found a shotgun found among children's toys in a playroom, which was later revealed to have been stolen from Cornelius' father.

Police also discovered markings on both the victim's apartment door and vehicle door that indicated someone had previously broken in with tools.

Police also found a bedroom that was secured with a keypad lock and allegedly contained numerous sex toys… and a hobby horse.

“The floor was covered with used condoms, a penis pump and clothing with white stains,” the document said. “The police officers and I on site were shocked as we had never experienced anything like this before.”

Where does the case go from here?

Cornelius was arrested and taken to the Daviess County Jail.

He is accused of the following charges:

  • Burglary in an apartment
  • Stalking if a protective order is violated in any case
  • Stalking using a tracking device
  • Domestic battery by means of a deadly weapon
  • Neglect of a relative
  • Residential entrance (x2)
  • Intimidation (x3)
  • Possession of methamphetamine
  • Possession of marijuana
  • Possession of a controlled substance

Daviess County Jail officials in the booking department confirmed that Cornelius is being held on $500,000 bail with 10% allowed, but noted that he is “also being held without bail on a PTR warrant due to a prior violation.”

Court officials in Daviess County said a special judge has been assigned to preside over the case and an initial hearing date will be scheduled soon between the judge and the attorneys involved.

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