ISP investigates man found dead in submerged car on northeast side

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INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana State Police (ISP) are investigating what led up to a deadly crash on Indy’s northeast side.

The victim was found in a retention pond near I-465.

Emergency crews were called to the scene in the 3900 block of Pendleton Way, just east of I-465 and north of 38th Street, Wednesday morning.

Just before noon, police and fire crews located a car in the retention pond. State police were quickly called to investigate the unusual death of 44-year-old Ronald Wade.

“Unfortunately, an adult male was found deceased inside that vehicle. At this point we have an ongoing death investigation to determine a lot of circumstances in this incident,” said ISP Sgt. John Perrine.

State police believe the victim’s car somehow veered off I-465, crashed through a ditch and into the pond, but it’s not clear if the death was caused by the crash or if the victim somehow died prior to leaving the road.

“That’s the purpose of the investigation is to answer those questions. We’ve got a lot of things to look into to determine exactly what happened,” said Perrine.

Family members on scene claim they last saw the victim Sunday night and he was reported missing on Monday, although State Police wouldn’t confirm how long the car had been in the water before being discovered.

Investigators insist it’s too early yet to rule out whether foul play was involved or if the death was purely an accident.

“Those questions you have are the same ones we have and that’s the purpose of the investigation,” said Perrine.

In what appears to be a strange coincidence, early Sunday morning a different car was pulled out of another retention pond just a few feet away on Pendleton Way.

Police claim the victim accidentally drowned trying to get his car out of the water and the two cases do not appear to be related in any way aside from the location.

Anyone with information on Wade’s death is still encouraged to contact Indiana State Police or Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS (8477).

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