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Coroner: 20-year-old Indianapolis woman shot to death before being found at fire

Photo of Melissa Runnels provided by her mother

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Marion County Coroner said a 20-year-old woman whose body was found burned at a fire was shot to death.

Melissa Runnels’s body was found in the 1100 block of Warman Ave. on the near west side early Friday after a neighbor called 911 to report a garage fire.

She was found so badly burned that authorities couldn’t determine if the victim was male or female.

After investigating, police determined her death was a homicide.

“It’s very shocking.  It’s disturbing.  I never would have thought something would happen this close to home,” said neighbor Shanay Pope.

The front door of that home had to be broken down after police obtained a warrant to search the property, but investigators didn’t find anything inside.

No arrests have been made in the case.   Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.