AVON, Ind. — Harpreet Singh was headed to the grocery store from the Avon home he shared with his parents one afternoon last week.

When he didn’t return from the trip to the store, a missing person report was filed with the Avon Police Department.

It was on Monday, four miles directly east of the home where Singh lived, on Indianapolis’ westside where a tow truck driver, assigned to haul away a seemingly abandoned black Toyota Highlander, noticed a peculiar odor, called police and IMPD officers discovered the 28-year-old man’s body in the backseat.

Investigators said he was shot to death.

“The fire department opened up the car…there was a strong smell in the car,” said one neighbor who didn’t want to be identified for fear of retribution. “They ended up removing him from the car.”

“Investigators said Singh was shot to death.”

Another neighbor said his wife saw the man who parked Singh’s car more than a week before the discovery.

“He had a hat on the head,” said the man who also asked not to reveal his name. “The guy was real fast driving and parking.”

The witness told CBS4 News that just as the driver, a tall thin man, exited the victim’s car, another vehicle pulled up.

“When he gets out of the car the black guy is taking off with the car and we see face-to-face,” said the neighbor.

“And he gets in a second car?” I asked the witness.

“Second car takes off,” agreed the witness, “because when he gets in the car behind, the other car takes off.”

The witness told me he would speak with detectives.

The man said he noticed a car with tinted windows driving slowly near the Toyota on Monday before Singh’s body was discovered.

Another neighbor said she would be wary of unknown vehicles driving past her apartment.

“I would assume that the person is familiar with this area but I don’t know if that means they’ve lived here before or live here,” she said.

Singh’s neighbors said he was a truck driver from New York who relocated to Avon and was well liked in his community.

As of May 7, 2022, IMPD has taken into custody 21-year-old Jayvawn Birdsong for the alleged murder of Singh, prostitution, and carrying a handgun without a license.