WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – A formal murder charge has been filed against the man prosecutors believe killed an Indiana University student. Court documents revealed more about the case Monday.
Meanwhile, West Lafayette police warn Purdue University students to keep safety a top priority as the semester comes to a close.
It was in rural Brown County where the body of 22-year-old Hannah Wilson was found Friday morning. According to court documents, 49-year-old Daniel Messel’s cellphone was found next to Wilson’s body. He was formally charged with murder Monday.
“Out of respect for the victim and the victim’s family, we will play this close to the vest. Also out of respect for the judicial process, the investigation is ongoing,” said Ted Adams, the Brown County prosecutor.
Wilson was an Indiana University student who was set to graduate in two weeks.
According to court documents, friends told police they were at a hotel with Wilson drinking Thursday night. They all then walked to Kilroy’s Sports Bar when they realized she was too intoxicated to stay with them. The friends put Wilson in a cab, heard her recite her address to the taxi driver and made sure the driver was paid before she left.
The affidavit does not say if Messel was the driver.
While news of the murder traveled quickly to Purdue, West Lafayette police want students to continue taking safety precautions while out with friends.
“Stay with a friend that you trust, don’t walk alone. If an occasion arises where you do have to walk alone, walk in a well-lit area. Keep your cellphone charged. Stay off your cellphone, don’t be texting and talking and not paying attention to your surroundings,” said WLPD Sgt. Jonathan Eager.
And even though Grand Prix came with little trouble, Sgt. Eager said there will be more times in the near future when students will need to stay safe.
“Getting close to the end of the college year, celebrating the freedom of not having to go to classes, people are more apt to go out and get intoxicated,” said Eager.
Wilson was a sister at the Gamma Phi Beta sorority at IU. News 18 reached out the chapter here at Purdue Monday, and they said they didn’t want to comment.