HANCOCK COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — Police in Hancock County have made an arrest after a woman was found dead in a local nature park Thursday.
According to the Hancock County Prosecutor’s Office, 61-year-old Billy Paschal, from Indianapolis, has been charged with moving a body from scene and failure to report a dead body.
Paschal pleaded not guilty Friday, but investigators said he admitted to the crime.
Police say the body of 62-year-old Theodosia Regina Queen was discovered at the Jacob Schramm Nature Preserve, in the 1500 block of South 600 West, late Thursday afternoon. She did not have any obvious signs of trauma, the sheriff’s department said. Investigators said the two had been living together.
Authorities said Friday morning that preliminary results from an autopsy determined Queen did not die as a result of any trauma or an apparent medical condition.
According to authorities, Paschal admitted that Queen had taken heroin and passed out, and that he hid the body, fearing that police would think he killed her. He said he panicked, drove the body to the Jacob Schramm Nature Preserve and left the body there.
Alise Etzel said she was at her sister’s house, across from the preserve, as officials investigated Thursday. She’s relieved someone was arrested.
“When I come here, I leave my car unlocked. I love this area. Everyone knows everyone. It’s one of those, you need a cup of sugar, you can go ask your neighbor (places). Hopefully people will go back to that because the talk is people are scared. It’s frightening when you find a dead body across from your house,” Etzel said.
Paschal faces a level 6 felony and a class A misdemeanor in the case.
Toxicology results are pending, which police say should provide additional information into her cause of death.
The investigation is ongoing.
Paschal is due back in court November 2.