Community concerned about area where 3 bodies were found

(WISH Photo/Tom Sheehan)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Three bodies have now been found in one Indianapolis neighborhood. Two women were found in June and with a third discovered over the weekend, authorities are trying to determine if they are at all linked.

Meanwhile, those living in the neighborhood and community organizations are working to stop the pattern. Each body was found just two blocks apart, near downtown around the intersection of 20th and Columbia Avenue. Those who live there say community awareness needs to pick up, while overgrown lots and alleys need to be trimmed down.

“It’s hard to be coming out at night, because you never know what you might see or who might mess with you or whatever,” Betty Depp said.

Depp told 24-Hour News 8 fear is becoming all too normal for her.

“Like at night, since I smoke, when I come outside I get in my car, instead of sitting in the booth over there. And I’m always looking around wherever I go, because you never know when somebody’s going to jump up,” Depp said.

All three bodies found near Depp’s apartment, were African-American women in their forties and fifties. Depp worries she may fit the mold if there’s a predator in the area.

“I’m like a little bit older, but you never know, nobody has a number so you have to be careful about what you do and where you go,” Depp said.

10-Point Coalition’s Rev. Charles Harrison said many people share Depp’s concerns.

“I think everybody across the city, particularly in the urban core, they want to live in save neighborhoods,” Harrison said.

He suggested mounting cameras in alleys and lots around Yandes and Columbia Avenue.

“We may need to send patrols through there. I know 10-point is talking about patrolling back in there,” Harrison said.

And a committee Depp is a member of is starting to clear brush from lots, but it’s expensive and there is more to do.

“Don’t make it so easy for there to be places in these neighborhoods for bodies to be dumped,” Harrison said.

Harrison said vacant homes need to be addressed as well and churches should get involved. Those are issues Depp said she’ll be thinking about each and every day.

“Every time I walk through this alley I think about that, because they found that second body down this alley,” Depp said.

Monday morning, the coroner’s office released new information about the two bodies found in June along Columbia Avenue.

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The report says the bodies of 56-year-old Loy Ofsthun and 45-year-old Selese Goss were severely decomposed. The coroner was not able to determine a cause or manner of death for either woman. The report goes on to say that there were no signs of trauma to the bodies, but drug tests did come back positive for both.

The body found Saturday has been identified as 49-year-old Edna Wilson. That autopsy has been postponed until Tuesday.

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