Indianapolis authorities are investigating the deaths of two women whose bodies were recently found just 400 feet from each other, five days apart.
The two victims — both “white females in their 50s” with ties to the city’s far east side — were “killed in the same manner” and were found between the 2100 and 2200 blocks of North Mitthoefer Road, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement.
However, since the investigation is still in its early stages, police said they “have not yet determined definitively if these two deaths are connected,” IMPD Interim Chief Chris Bailey told reporters at a news conference Friday afternoon.
The body of the first victim, identified as 58-year-old Shannon Juanita Lassere, was found on the 2200 block of North Mitthoefer Rd. shortly before 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 27. That was across the street from where she lived, Lassere’s son, Justin Smith, told local TV station WTHR.
The victim’s daughter, Cecilia Lassere, said she had last seen the victim the night before when her mother walked over to a gas station. She never returned home.
Five days later, police found the body of a second woman, identified as 52-year-old Marianne Weis, at a parking lot on the 2100 block of North Mitthoeffer Rd., according to WXIN.
Capt. Roger Spurgeon, commander of the department’s homicide branch, declined to say how the two women were killed, citing “the investigative integrity of both cases.” However, Smith told several local news outlets Lassere had been stabbed.
Authorities are now asking anyone with information about the incidents to contact IMPD’s homicide office directly at 317-327-3475 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 317-262-TIPS.
“We’re here out of an abundance of caution to share information with the community that we can,” Bailey said. “We need the community’s help to know what these women were doing before they were killed.”
Residents should expect to see more uniformed officers patrolling the area in the coming days, according to the IMPD.