Daniel Messel connected to 2012 rape case

Daniel Messel
Daniel Messel (Provided Photo/Indiana State Police)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — Indiana University Police Department in Bloomington say Daniel Messel is connected to a 2012 rape case.

Messel was convicted in 2016 for the murder of IU student Hannah Wilson.

Police say that details during his murder trial prompted a victim to come forward to discuss similarities.

Police say they connected Messel to the 2012 rape case through DNA evidence.

According to the release, the rape happened early in the morning sometime in 2012. The 22-year-old student came into contact with a man she didn’t know while she was out.

The suspect drove her against her will to a parking lot. She was beaten and sexually assaulted. The suspect left her in the parking lot, taking a lot of the victim’s belongings with him.

The victim walked to a nearby house where she called the police. IUPD managed to get DNA evidence off her that night.

A judge sentenced 51-year-old Daniel Messel last month to 80 years in prison for the murder of IU student Hannah Wilson.

Police found her body in a vacant lot about 10 miles away from campus. She was two weeks away from graduating.
A missing person report was filed after she went home from a night out with friends and was never heard from again.

Police said Wilson’s case is very similar to an unsolved case from 2012.

“Like the Hannah Wilson case the victim in this case had be out socializing with friends got separated from her group,” said Captain Andy Stephenson, Indiana University Police.
Police said the victim went out with a group of friends. They had been drinking and ended up at a bar.

“The next thing she remembers is being in a car with an unknown male,” he said.

According to court documents, the victim told police the man drove her to a wooded area and attacked her.

“He transported her to an isolated parking lot at Griffy Lake near the IU campus here in Bloomington where she was beaten and rape,” he said. “He left her there in the parking lot and fled in a vehicle.”

Court documents stated the man took off with her purse, phone, and other belongings.

“The victim was able to leave the scene and walk to a nearby home where she asked for assistance,” he said. “The homeowner there called 911.”

Police collected DNA evidence at the time, but did not have enough to compare until now.

“The DNA sample that we had from that case was a minor sample it requires a major sample to compare to anything in a DNA database which we didn’t have at the time,” he said. “But once Daniel Messel was a known suspect in this crime then we could compare it specifically.”

Police said the lab results came up with a matching profile.
“I believe that according to the lab it was 1 in 1.175 million certainties that it was Daniel Messel,” he said.

Police said they are now urging anyone with a similar case to come forward.

“I think it’s clear there’s a pattern of behavior and this may not be confined to the Bloomington area,” he said. “So we’re asking anyone who had a similar experience to contact either their local law enforcement agency or to contact the IU Police Department.”

Police are seeking several charges against Messel, including, rape, criminal confinement, battery, and theft.

Court documents stated police went to prison last week to talk with Messel about the 2012 case and he refused to talk.