Court docs: Man used belt of robe to strangle Greenfield woman to death

GREENFIELD, Ind. – An arrest has been made after a Greenfield woman’s death was ruled a homicide.

According to the Greenfield police, officers were dispatched to a home in the 1100 block of Morningside Drive around 10 p.m. on Thursday, and they found an unresponsive woman inside.

Police identified the woman as Patricia Dresser, 52. Further investigation showed some of her belongings were missing along with her 2011 blue Ford Taurus. The Hancock County Coroner’s Office ruled Dresser’s death a homicide after an autopsy Friday afternoon. Investigators believe Spielman used the belt on Dresser's robe as a weapon to strangle her.

"Obviously, it’s a terrible tragedy.  It’s a terrible situation. People here in the county are shaken by what occurred. A lot of people knew Patty, so it’s something that’s hit a lot of people hard. Obviously, we are going to do everything we can to see that this case gets to a just conclusion," said Hancock County Prosecutor Brent Eaton.

Around 9 p.m. Friday, police spotted Dresser’s Ford Taurus traveling northbound on State Street in Greenfield. Police detained the driver, Spencer Spielman, 20, and a passenger, Brandon Humphries.  Humphries told FOX 59 he had no clue the car was stolen or what Spielman was up to beforehand.

"To come to find out that I've been hanging out with a dude in a car and to know it had been stolen and he killed a woman for it. It does hit me in the head indeed," said Brandon Humphries, a witness.

Police say Spielman admitted he stole the car from Dresser and killed her. Police don’t believe Humphires was involved in the crime.

Court papers reveal, Dresser hired Spielman to do some housework so he could make some extra money.  Dresser supposedly even paid him upfront.  The work was never done.

Spielman is facing murder, robbery and driving while suspended charges.

Investigators say Dresser is a mother of two sons, one who is serving in the military.  This is the third homicide in Hancock County this year.