INDIANAPOLIS — Police are continuing to investigate the city’s latest homicide after a man was found dead inside a van on Indy’s near northeast side.

Police responded to a welfare check just before 11 p.m. in the 3600 block of N. Lasalle Street. They found a man inside a vehicle. According to police, he had injuries “consistent with trauma.” The coroner later ruled he died from stab wounds. He was pronounced deceased on the scene.

The tire tracks in the driveway mark the spot where police found 47-year-old James Milton Jr. dead.

“The van had been sitting here for a couple days. We figured it was the homeowner, but apparently it wasn’t the homeowner that parked it here,” said neighbor Maurice Gillespie.

While neighbors noticed the van next to the currently vacant home earlier in the weekend, they didn’t hear or see what motivated the killing which police are calling an isolated incident.

Detectives did talk to a person of interest, but that woman was released from custody pending a review by the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office on whether or not to file criminal charges.

“IMPD homicide responded and began to investigate and through the course of their investigation they believe they’ve identified the person responsible for the incident and were able to speak with that individual,” said IMPD Lt. Shane Foley.

So far no arrests were made.

Police reports show the homicide victim was listed as a suspect in a battery report filed within minutes of the killing.

The violence interrupted a relatively safe few weeks.

Nearly two weeks into December, the death marks only the fourth homicide IMPD has investigated this month.

That is on pace to be the least violent month of the year.

“We’re hoping that trend continues, but with the numbers it’s often lost that there are lives involved,” said Foley.

“Keep it peaceful in your home and it’ll be peaceful in your community also, because it starts at home,” said Reverend Allen Bailey.

Allen Bailey lives and works as an activist in the neighborhood. He said law enforcement can’t stop the violence without the community’s help. That message police agree with.

“I tell my young people around here to know your associations. If they’re not right, move fast away from them,” said Bailey.

“Family and friends have a responsibility. If they see something escalating, call the police so we have help resolve those types of conflicts,” said Foley. “When we decide to resolve conflicts with violence, no one wins.”

In 2021 and 2020 the month of December saw more than 20 homicides each of the last two years.

Anyone with information about this incident should contact Detective Gregory Shue at the IMPD Homicide Office at 317.327.3475 or e-mail him at Gregory.Shue@indy.gov.