EPD investigating after two bodies found in abandoned homes

EPD investigating after two bodies found in abandoned homes
Published: Jul. 20, 2023 at 9:01 AM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The Vanderburgh County Coroner’s Office and the Evansville Police Department are investigating two deaths.

According to a release, both bodies were found in abandoned houses.

Officials say on July 14, the body of an unidentified woman was found in an abandoned house in the 1000 block of Harriet Street.

At this time, the coroner’s office says the woman’s identity and cause of death are both pending.

[Related story: EPD: Body found inside house on Harriet St.]

On July 15, officials say the body of 39-year-old Derek Clark was found in an abandoned house in the 200 block of Read Street.

According to the Vanderburgh County Coroner, an autopsy was done, and the cause of death is pending toxicology and final autopsy reports.

“Neighbors need to report when they see people coming in and out of these abandoned homes,” said EPD Officer Taylor Merriss.

Although the houses were abandoned, neighbors say people were constantly coming in and out.

“There’s been 15-20 people that have been in and out of that house,” said Kyle Lannert, a neighbor. “A lot of them are homeless. A lot of them I’ve seen inside the jail, outside the jail coming back in here to live and stay the night.”

Lannert says the smell inside the home made him physically sick. Evansville police say the summer heat left the bodies with “extreme decomposition,” a possible reason no identification has been made on the woman found on Harriet Street.

With so little information surrounding the two deaths, police say it’s impossible to say if they’re related at this stage, even though the two houses are less than a mile apart.

“We have a lot of great facilities here in Evansville that those experiencing homelessness can take advantage of, but often times they don’t and they will resort to other places,” Merriss said.