Indianapolis man found murdered in his home after disappearance

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INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man was found murdered inside his own home on Indy’s east side.

Tonight, police are piecing together what led up to the killing. One suspect has been booked into the Marion County Jail on a charge of murder.

The victim’s friends and family believe the killing actually took place days earlier.

Police were first called to the home on north Spencer Avenue Wednesday night where James Hayden was found dead on the floor of his bedroom. Police were alerted to the crime after the victim failed to show up to work for two days. That unusual disappearance led neighbors to sneak inside the victim’s home to investigate.

“(My daughter) climbed through the window and went through the back and opened the door and then I walked in,” said neighbor Candace Crompton.

Candace and her daughter eventually found the victim’s body covered with a blanket in a corner bedroom.

“We walked room to room before finding the body on the floor in his room. We didn’t move anything because there was a lot of blood in that area so I said we gotta go and let’s call the police,” said Crompton.

“By the time we got here, police had everything shut down and wouldn’t let us know what was going on,” said the victim’s brother-in-law Jerry Bishop.

Bishop says Hayden would have celebrated his 47th birthday on Friday, but appeared to have been beaten to death during a possible fight that left a bloody mess inside the home.

“It was definitely a struggle and there was more than one person that struggled with him. It looks like he may have tried to get out the front door and then ended up in the bedroom,” said Bishop.

While police wouldn’t confirm any details of the case, Jerry believes his brother-in-law had done some recent home renovations and thinks the motive for the murder was simply money.

The victim’s truck, wallet, phone, lawn equipment and other items were reported missing.

“We think it was a robbery,” said Bishop. “They saw he had a little money and thought he may have had more money.”

“It was definitely more than one person that committed this crime and I hope it gets solved quickly and they get held accountable for this too,” said Crompton.

So far, police are not releasing a mugshot for the suspect they arrested. Jail records identify him as Ronald Collins. Police say the case remains an active and open investigation.

Ronald Collins

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