INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The discovery of a man found dead inside a car on the north side marks the first homicide in nearly three weeks for Indianapolis.
It happened Tuesday just after 6:30 p.m. near 33rd and Schofield Avenue.
Police said it was initially reported that the victim had been shot, but that was not the case. The Marion County Coroner told 24-Hour News 8 the cause and manner of death is still pending.
Police said the investigation began when they got a call for a suspicious car parked outside a vacant house. Inside the car police found the victim identified as 22-year-old James Matthews.
One man who lives in the neighborhood said he found the body and believes the car had been sitting there for weeks.
“I’m thinking maybe he parked the car and overdosed in this back seat maybe but I really wasn’t sure,” said Teron Jackson, who found the body.
Teron Jackson said he was walking to the store with his brother when they noticed the black car again.
“He kinda brought it up in our conversation like yo that car had been sitting there for a long time I’m like yeah it really has I’m like it’s probably like a hot boy a stolen car he’s like probably is see what’s in it,” he said.
Jackson said he looked in the front seat and didn’t see anything. He looked in the back seat and couldn’t believe what he saw.
“The first thing I seen was like it look like legs but then I couldn’t really notice it until I seen like the head and then I just seen the whole body,” he said.
His neighbor called 911 and police began processing the scene for evidence.
“One of my neighbors was like man that car could really still be sitting there if you would have never looked in the back,” he said. “They’re like yeah if you wouldn’t have said nothing that car would probably still be sitting there with a dude in it and nobody never know still.”
Just last month police received a similar call less than a mile away at 36th Street and Schofield Avenue.
A DPW worker spotted suspicious car and called police. Police said 27-year-old Rodriguez Anderson was found in the passenger seat shot multiple times.
“I just want to know why why would someone do this to my baby and I want them to find the person who did this,” said Octavia, Anderson’s sister.
Anderson’s case marked the first homicide of the 2018 for Indianapolis and remains unsolved.
As for Matthews’ case, police said it’s being investigating as a murder. Police have not said how long the victim had been in the car and whether that car belonged to him or someone else.
If you have any information that could help police you’re asked to call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS and you can remain anonymous.