Fears are mounting in an Indianapolis community after two women’s bodies were found within 150 yards of each other less than a week apart.
Police have not yet determined whether the two deaths are connected, but Indiana Police interim police chief Christopher Bailey does not dispute that there are “similarities in these two cases”.
The body of 58-year-old Shannon Lassere was discovered on 27 January, WRTV reported. Only five days later, on 1 February, a second body was also found. The remains belonged to 52-year-old Marianne Weis and were found just 150 yards away from the first victim, police said.
Justin Smith, the son of Lassere, described her as “the most amazing woman ever”.
“It was just so callous the way they took her. She didn’t deserve it. She wouldn’t have prompted it,” he said, according to Fox59.
Both of the incidents occurred within days of one another; both were white females in their 50s, and both were killed in the same manner, the IMPD said in a statement.
The two bodies were also found between the 2100 and 2200 blocks of N Mitthoefer Road, and each victim has ties to the far east side.
The police did not provide any information on any possible suspect or suspects in the killings, or how exactly the two women were killed.
“There’s certain pieces of the investigation we just can’t talk about right now to make sure we protect the integrity of the investigation,” Mr Bailey said at a press conference.
The local community have been left in shock after these eerily similar deaths. Donna Spears, a resident of Mitthoefer Road for 40 years, told WTHR that “it’s scary, it’s sad” to hear the news of the two women.
She said that she walks everywhere she needs to go, but will no longer walk out at night.
“I don’t know really what you can do if you’re not right there when it happens – just warn the women don’t walk by themselves,” Ms Spears said to WTHR.
Greg Hopkins has lived in the area for more than 30 years and told Fox59 that the two killings had shocked him.
“Sickening that somebody would do that to another person,” Mr Hopkins said.
The IMPD said they plan to increase patrols and are asking community members in the area to look at their surveillance footage and report any suspicious behaviour.
“We don’t know if these crimes are connected at this point, and that’s why we’re asking for the public’s help,” IMPD’s Captain Roger Spurgeon said at the press conference.
“If you have any information on these victims or know where they had been in the days before their deaths, we want to know. If you have cameras in the area that caught something suspicious, we want to know.”
They are also working with the Marion County Forensic Services Agency to see if any forensic evidence can be recovered from the scene.
Mr Bailey warned the local community to take extra precautions for their safety at this time.
“At night, make sure you’re with somebody if possible. Make sure you’re aware of your surroundings,” Mr Bailey said.
“Make sure someone knows where you at. Make sure you have a way to communicate if something does happen or know where to go in order to get help that you need.”
Police said that along with the IMPD homicide unit, other multiple units are working on these cases.