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Mother says Ben Davis student found dead behind dumpster was strangled

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- The death of an 18-year-old Ben Davis student is being investigated by police as a homicide.

Renia Woods, 18, was found on March 21 behind a dumpster in the 1400 block of Campbell Avenue. She was a senior at Ben Davis High School and had plans to enroll at Indiana State in the fall to study finance.

Metro police said Woods was babysitting her four siblings at the family’s home on the west side, near 38th Street and High School Road, last Friday night, March 18th.

Investigators said Woods told her 5-year-old brother she was stepping outside, and that was the last time anyone saw her until her body was found.

Police believe she left home with someone, but have not released any information on a potential suspect.

“We need individuals to come forward with information that may help our investigators piece together exactly what happened, who she was with, where she was and what happened,” said IMPD officer Kendale Adams.

Initially, the coroner listed her cause of death as undetermined. Thursday, police said her death was being investigated as a homicide.

Woods' mother told FOX59 she was informed that her daughter was strangled. At this time, there has been no official ruling from the coroner.

“We’ve always been looking at this as a suspicious death. Today confirmed it as a homicide. Our investigation never stopped,” said Adams.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the IMPD homicide office at 317-327-3475.