Fiancé of man found dead in dumpster seeking answers

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — An Indianapolis woman says she is desperate for answers ten days after the body of her fiancé was found in a dumpster at an east side apartment complex.

Melissa Bershell says she and her fiancé, Jose Santos Garcia-Lopez had made plans to go shopping for their engagement rings one day after Lopez’s body was found in the dumpster at the Spanish Oaks Apartments near East 38th Street and Mitthoefer Road. An autopsy revealed Lopez died from blunt force trauma to the head and multiple stab wounds to the neck and upper body.

“I was devastated and I had to read it alone sitting on our bed about how he died,” Bershell said.

Lopez’s body was located after someone walking through the apartment complex found blood outside the dumpster and called police. Witnesses at the investigation scene said there appeared to be a trail of blood between the dumpster and an apartment door directly across from the dumpster. That same apartment is where Bershell believes Lopez was hanging out and drinking with friends on the night he was killed.

“People in that house know something,” Bershell said.

Bershell can’t say for sure, but she suspects Lopez was killed by somebody he knew, possibly one of his friends, in an alcohol-fueled fight in that apartment. She says her fiancé was a good man who worked hard as a painter for 14 years while helping to take care of his family members in his home country of Honduras.

“Jose was a gentle person, he just wanted respect,” she said. “He’s never had problems.”

A man who answered the apartment door Tuesday said he was not there on the night of February 17 when Lopez was there drinking with several other people. The man said he did not know who killed Lopez or why. However, he did mention seeing the trail of blood between the apartment door and the dumpster the next day when Lopez’s body was found.

Bershell says she has shared her suspicions and information with police, including names of several people she believes was with Lopez on the night he was killed.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police have not announced any arrests or suspects in the case. They say the homicide remains an open investigation.

“My everything is gone, everything,” Bershell said.

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