Police: Indianapolis man killed woman during argument, left body inside home for days

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James Edwards

INDIANAPOLIS (July 20, 2015) — Indianapolis Metropolitan police arrested a man accused of strangling a woman after an argument and leaving her body at home for several days.

On Friday morning, dispatchers received an anonymous 911 call informing them there was a body inside the back bedroom of a home in the 2600 block of Putters Lane.

Officers arrived to find the body of 55-year-old Ardelle Stemmer in the residence. Police said she lived there with her boyfriend, 62-year-old James Edwards, who was not home when investigators arrived. Stemmer’s vehicle was also missing, police said.

On Friday afternoon, an officer spotted the vehicle on North Arsenal Avenue. A search for Edwards ensued, but he was not immediately located. Because it was raining heavily at the time, investigators believed Edwards was still in the area. They found him under the picnic shelter in Willard Park. He was taken into custody for questioning.

Police believe Edwards and Stemmer got into an argument on Tuesday, July 14, in which Edwards strangled the woman. They believe he used the victim’s cell phone to make an anonymous 911 after realizing no one had found her body.

IMPD homicide detectives arrested Edwards on a preliminary charge of murder.

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