INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Some people living on the west side of Indianapolis said they are stunned after learning their neighbor was arrested for murder just steps away from their home.
Police arrested Ralph Tait, 38, for the murder of Starr Eldridge, 26. She was stabbed 13 times, according to court documents filed Monday.
Detectives said her body was found in a pond in the 7100 block of Waterfront Drive last Sunday afternoon.
Surveillance video from a gas station shows the victim and suspect together. Detectives said she was wearing the same clothes from the day she was found in the pond.
The mother and cousin of Starr Eldridge told 24-Hour News 8 they don’t know what kind of relationship she had with the suspect.
They described her as outgoing, a mother of two with not a mean bone in her body. Tait is now charged with murder in connection to the crime.
“I came out for work around 7:30 and there’s two cops, car one was parked right and they had him in cuffs standing next to his car. I think they were bringing out the tape and stuff,” said Colin Heath, neighbor.
Colin Heath moved into the apartment two months ago. He said his fiancé saw most of the police activity.
“She said they were bringing a lot of stuff out of his house and there was a team of people with plastic gloves on and stuff,” he said.
Inside the bedroom of the apartment, detectives said they found evidence of a crime scene.
Court documents show the bed was stripped to the mattress, a piece of carpet was cut from the floor, blood stains on the carpet, and blood smear going to the master closet. They also found cleaning supplies and bleach marks on the carpet.
“Absolutely terrifying, I mean just to be that close and not having a clue about whatever had happened in that apartment is pretty scary,” said Dionna Patton, neighbor.
Dionna Patton lives nearby. She also saw the police activity Wednesday morning. She said she has seen her neighbor before in passing and nothing more.
“Just being cautions of who you’re neighbors are and things like that,” said Patton. “It’s kind of scary because you never know who you’re living next door too.”
Court documents also show police received information from a witness. The witness told police her friend was getting ready to leave when she saw something suspicious.
She told police her friend saw “a black male dragging something on a blanket to the trunk of his car. She also observed legs to be sticking out of the blanket.”
Another witness told police he gave Tait a ride to church on Sunday. He said that morning during the service Tait puked in the bathroom at least twice.
His next court date is scheduled for November.