INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – We're only nine days into the new year, and the IMPD is already investigating the city's third murder.
A woman was found dead inside a car that was still running at an apartment complex on the north side of Indianapolis. The shooting happened around 4:20 a.m. in the 7400 block of Merganser Drive in Woodlake Apartments near Ditch Road and West 73rd Street.
The victim was identified as Svitlana Novotney, 19.
"Her driver’s side window was smashed and she wasn’t here anymore," said one neighbor.
That neighbor asked that she not be identified, but says she went outside to check on Novotney after the shooting and made the deadly discovery.
"I’m just dealing with moving on past what I saw. It was messed up for sure," said that neighbor.
Other neighbors say they didn’t recognize the victim or her car, but are surprised by the murder.
"It just blew me out of the water. This is close to home. I can look out the front door and there her car was," said neighbor Dawn Wright.
While it’s not clear what led up to the violence, the murder is unusual for a couple of reasons.
According to numbers by IMPD homicides involving women are rare. In 2018 there were 26 female homicide victims compared to 151 men.
In 2017 34 women were killed, with another 22 female victims in 2016.
A map highlighting all of last year's homicides shows murders on the north side are also uncommon, with only 15 homicides all year north of 56th street.
Still, the IMPD says they can’t focus on the stats, but on solving each case individually.
"We really don’t look at the numbers. We look at it like this is a person that was killed in our city," said IMPD officer Michael Hewitt.
"There's just so much hate in this world. We need to take care of each other better and start looking out for one another," said Wright.
So far no arrests have been made, but anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.