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IMPD: Resident arrested in killing of woman at south side health care center

IMPD said officers found a woman dead in a room and felt the circumstances of the death were suspicious. A man residing at the center was arrested hours later.
Credit: WTHR/Bill Reilly
IMPD investigates a suspicious death at a health care facility on Indy's south side, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022.

INDIANAPOLIS — Police arrested a resident at an Indianapolis health care center who is suspected of killing another resident at the facility on Wednesday. 

The woman who was killed was identified as 80-year-old Patricia Newnum. An autopsy by the Marion County coroner determined she had been smothered to death.

IMPD homicide detectives arrested Dwayne Freeman, 60, for his alleged involvement in Newnum's death. On Feb. 8, prosecutors formally charged him with two counts each of murder and rape in the case.

Police were called to the Homestead Healthcare Center on Madison Avenue near East Stop 10 Road at around 5:30 a.m. 

The health care center is a "skilled care and rehabilitation center" on the south side of the city that offers its residents long- and short-term care, according to its website. 

When officers arrived at the center, they found Newnum dead in her room and investigators felt the circumstances of the death were suspicious, IMPD said.

Detectives were called to investigate and they determined the woman's death was, in fact, a homicide. 

Hours after arriving at the health center, detectives arrested Freeman.

IMPD said it's working with other agencies to "ensure the safety and security of residents at this facility." At this time, investigators don't believe there's a threat to the community in connection with this homicide. 

13News reached out to the health care center and was told there would be no comment at this time.

Anyone with information about this incident is being asked to call the IMPD Homicide Office at 317.327.3475 or e-mail the detective at Douglas.Swails@indy.gov. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317.262.8477 or (TIPS).

Check back for updates.  

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