Third homicide at half-vacant Indianapolis property sparks calls for demolition

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- An Indianapolis man found shot to death inside a half-vacant property on the city's northeast side was identified Monday.

The gruesome discovery took place near 42nd Street and Post Road, at a complex that has become a hot spot for violence this year.

An anonymous call led police to the vacant town home, where 35-year-old Anthony Eldridge was found dead inside. The homicide marks the third time this year someone has been found murdered in the same complex. Back in January, police found 26-year-old Derick Daniels shot to the death.

That same week, a tip helped police find the frozen body of 19-year-old Trevon Mann in another one of the vacant units.

Community leaders say something needs to be done to clean up the area and stop the cycle of violence.

"We gotta do something. We can’t keep coming here and talking about this problem," said Rev. Charles Harrison with the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition.

Many of the individually-owned town homes have broken windows and boarded up doors. Nearly half of the units in the complex appear to be abandoned and Harrison says it's time for the city to take action.

"Let's tear it down and do something else with the property so we can get rid of this nuisance to the community," said Harrison.

Court records show Eldridge had been charged 18 times over the last two years with trespassing, theft and public intoxication, and as of three days ago lived at the Wheeler Mission.

Regardless of the that history, Harrison believes without major changes to the Town and Terrace property, the violence will continue.

"If you don’t tear it down, you have to have security 24/7 to make it safe even for the people that are living here," said Harrison. "This is going to continue to be a problem. We’re going to keep coming here and finding dead bodies."

Mayor Joe Hogsett's office says the overall property contains 258 units. Only 9 have homestead exceptions and the remaining units are either rental units, vacant or have been demolished.

"The City has been engaged in litigation regarding that development since November 2013, citing unreasonable harm to the City by contributing to blight, depressing property values and consuming substantial public resources. We are currently under a court order, prohibiting further demolition while the case is pending," a spokesperson for the mayor's office said.

None of the three homicides on the property have been solved. Anyone with information on the cases is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.