Indiana Daily Student

Jury shown crime scene footage, evidence details on day three of the Messel trial

The body of IU senior Hannah Wilson was found at this field located at 5284 Plum Creek Road in Brown County, according to the probable cause affadavit charging Daniel E. Messel, 49, of Bloomington, with murder. The Brown County Sherriff's Office received a 911 call at approximately 8:34 A.M. Friday from a woman saying she had found the body.
The body of IU senior Hannah Wilson was found at this field located at 5284 Plum Creek Road in Brown County, according to the probable cause affadavit charging Daniel E. Messel, 49, of Bloomington, with murder. The Brown County Sherriff's Office received a 911 call at approximately 8:34 A.M. Friday from a woman saying she had found the body.

Daniel Messel's eyes were fixed on the screen hanging on the wall across the courtroom. In an open, grassy clearing lay Hannah Wilson's body, where Messel allegedly left it after murdering the 22-year-old IU student.

Her gray shirt was pulled up, revealing her lower back. She wore tight black yoga pants and black converse shoes. Wilson was face down when investigators arrived on scene the morning of April 24, 2015.

The video footage being shown to the jury Thursday in the Brown County courthouse was taken at that time.

Wilson's body was left about 20 feet from Plum Creek Road, near State Road 45 in Brown County. Her clothing was presented piece by piece to the jury Thursday.

Messel's clothing, which was found in the plastic bag he was holding at the time of his arrest, was also presented. A pair of shoes, one sock, boxer shorts, a Cincinnati Reds T-shirt and blue jeans were shown to jurors, either in physical or picture form.

Messel’s jeans, shirt and left shoe contained visible blood stains.

Lottery tickets, some change and a business card were also in the plastic garbage bag.

Sgt. Chris Lewis, an officer largely involved with surveying the crime scene and identifying pieces of evidence in the case, took the stand Thursday afternoon. He testified he arrived at the Messel residence April 24, 2015, to see Messel being taken into custody by another officer.

Lewis later searched Messel's 2012 Kia Sportage, parked in the carport. He noticed "blood spatters" on the inside and outside of the vehicle. Swabs of the blood, kept in envelopes, were presented to the jury.

Lewis also noted the items he found inside Messel's vehicle: two unopened condoms, hair, some trash and binoculars under the passenger seat. He testified there were "two main clusters of hair" in the car – one near the center console and one on the back passenger floorboard.

After checking for finger and handprints "anywhere that someone could touch that was conducive to receiving finger prints,” Lewis lifted five prints from various sections of the Kia. Most notable were those found in the dust on the dashboard.

However, none of finger prints resulted in conclusive results, Lewis said.

In addition to searching Messel's vehicle and the surrounding area, Lewis assisted in the crime scene investigation that morning. He identified a shoe print in the area that belonged to Carol Bridges, a woman living nearby who first found Wilson's body.

Lewis took several measurements of tire tracks, but could not identify the kind of tires or car it belonged to based on their impressions.

The crime scene was cleared around 1 p.m. April 24.

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