Police investigate triple homicide after 3 bodies are found in wooded area on Indy’s south side

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INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis police continue to investigate an unusual triple homicide on the city’s south side.

The victims were all found in a wooded area in the 4400 block of S. Meridian Street near I-465.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said one of their officers was off duty at the time and working security for a business along I-465 when he found two men shot to death. The third body was found nearby a short time later.

“It’s very suspicious, and it’s very concerning,” said Ryan Gill.

Gill’s step-son, Mike James, is one of the victims. The 22-year-old leaves behind a large family, including two children.

Family approved picture of Mike James

“It hurts talking about him in the past tense, but he was a good kid. He had two young boys,” said Gill.

Gill said her family first became worried when James didn’t return calls or messages hours earlier Tuesday night.

“Around 6 o’clock is when we realized we were not able to reach him,” said Gill.

Police reports show one of the other victims, 18-year-old Joseph Thomas, was reported missing a day earlier on Monday. Thomas was last reported to have been seen on Sunday.

The third victim has been identified as 17-year-old Abdulla Mubarak.

Picture of Joseph Thomas

“This is going to be a very complex investigation,” said IMPD officer William Young.

Police admit they’re not sure how long any of the three bodies had been in the woods or if they were killed at different times.

They do stress that they need the public’s help to solve the case.

“It’s extremely, extremely important that our investigators get information to hold whoever did this accountable and responsible,” said Young.

“There’s really nothing that we know, honestly,” said Gill.

While some friends and family don’t know what motivated the killings, they’re simply tired of all the violence in the city.

“A lot of people are hurting, and hurt people hurt people,” said Gill.

Anyone with information or who may have been in the area and seen anything remotely suspicious is asked to contact the IMPD Homicide Office at 317-327-3475 or call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477 or (TIPS) to remain anonymous.

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