INDIANAPOLIS — Police continue to search for a killer after a man was found beaten to death in downtown Indianapolis over the weekend.
On Monday, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department released photos of a person of interest they hope solves the case.
IMPD believes around 3 a.m. on Mother’s Day, an argument led to a deadly assault at the White Castle on South Street.
The Marion County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as 35-year-old Marcel Johannes Huntemann.
Police are asking for help identifying a bearded man, who they believe was in the area at the time and may have information on the crime.
“There was some type of altercation, a verbal altercation that turned physical, and when officers responded they found a man on the ground unconscious and bleeding,” said Phil Burton, IMPD’s downtown commander.
Police are still investigating exactly what led to the deadly violence.
The death marks the fourth homicide this year downtown.
Before the pandemic, the city averaged just two or three downtown homicides each year. Those numbers went up dramatically starting in 2020.
While the number of homicides downtown has been on the rise in recent years, IMPD insists every effort is being made to keep downtown as safe as possible and downtown crime remains relatively low.
“We still only have about 3% of all total crime in Indianapolis, so downtown is fairly safe,” said Burton.
“I think it’s just a handful of random incidents that have happened,” said Sean Lothridge.
Lothridge bought the Slippery Noodle Inn across the street from the White Castle earlier this year.
“I think it’s pretty safe downtown,” said Lothridge.
Lothridge praised police for having extra patrols on weekends to try and prevent violence but said the number of downtown homicides reflects a larger problem in society that’s not unique to downtown.
“People just seem to have short tempers with things. Instead of resolving conflicts, they want to resort shootings or stabbings. People need to take a few minutes and learn to talk to each other,” said Lothridge.
“I mean, it was just some poor decisions that took place. No matter what happened, someone got into a verbal altercation, but you should not resort to violence to end that,” said Burton.
This year, the mayor’s office promised more mobile public safety cameras downtown, and a new grant program can help businesses cover costs to enroll in the b-link camera system.
So far, no arrests have been made in this case.
Anyone with information about this incident should call Detective James Hurt at the IMPD Homicide Office at 317-327-3475 or email him at James.Hurt@Indy.gov.
Alternatively, the public can call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477 or (TIPS) to report anonymous tips.