INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– The body found inside a U-Haul van Wednesday is that of an adult female, according to the Marion County Coroner’s Office.
Officers say the discovery was made at 4011 South East Street, which is a U-Haul facility, around 1:30 p.m. by an employee. The Marion County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as 26-year-old Alyssa Sanderfer. Manner of death and toxicology results are pending, according to the coroner’s office.
Initially, police stated the victim was an infant. Just before 4:30 p.m., IMPD said, “Upon closer examination of the deceased, it is believed that it is an adult, not an infant/child as stated earlier.”
Because the victim was found in a tote, “it was assumed to be a baby,” police said. When the coroner retrieved the remains, it was determined to be a small adult.
People in the are said they were disturbed by the discovery.
“No human being should be left like this,” said Janet Chergou, who lives nearby and stopped by to place a flower for the victim.
No information on where the van is registered, where it came from or who last rented it has been released.
Detectives are checking on logs at the company to find more information.
“What I can tell you is that it is here now, and it is our responsibility to find out what happened, and we ask for the community’s help in that,” said IMPD officer Jim Gillespie. “If anybody has any information on it, give us a call.”
IMPD says this investigation is very early stages.
Anyone with information can call IMPD at 317-327-3475 or submit an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS. Tipsters are eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 if the information leads to a felony arrest and conviction.
U-Haul spokesperson Jeff Lockridge issued the following statement:
“We are deeply startled and heartbroken over the discovery today at one of our Indianapolis store locations. U-Haul is working with the local authorities to meet any and all needs in their investigation.”