Hannah Wilson, Indiana University Student, Murdered--Blunt Force Head Trauma Cause of Death

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Hannah Wilson, a student at Indiana University, was reported missing late last week. Her body was located on Friday in a nearby rural area just east of where the university is located. She had been murdered. Hannah Wilson died of blunt force trauma to her head.

According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, a suspect in the murder of Hannah Wilson was taken into custody shortly after her body was discovered.

49-year-old Daniel E. Messel, of Bloomington, Indiana, is being held at Brown County Jail. So far not motive has been disclosed. It's uncertain whether Messel and Hannah Wilson were familiar with one another.

The Indianapolis Star reports that thousands of people gathered on Saturday in two separate vigils to honor the life of Hannah Wilson. Her sorority sisters at Gamma Phi Beta released dozens of green and purple balloons in her memory on the deck of the solarium.

Several of Wilson's cheerleading teammates gathered some time later at the Indiana Elite Cheer Center cheerleading gym in Noblesville. Hannah Wilson was a competitive cheerleader at the gym for six years there before leaving to attend Indiana University.

"She was the committed one, the focused one but also the light-hearted one who made them laugh and brought them together," Bethe Beaver, co-owner of the gym, said of Hannah Wilson.

Brown County coroner Earl Piper said Saturday that Hannah Wilson died from blunt force head trauma. He added that her body was riddled with scrapes and bruises as well. There was no weapon left at the crime scene.

"This is a tragedy by any stretch, so I think what we're trying to do is to make sure people have support," Dean of Students Harold "Pete" Goldsmith said at the vigil in Bloomington. "It's obvious that this is a caring community. I think people cared about her, and showed up in great numbers. I think it speaks to the Greek community and how they care for each other."

The family of Hannah Wilson has definitely experienced a tragic loss. Her university family and community and no doubt grieving, too. Hopefully the person in custody for her murder--Daniel E. Messel--is tried and convicted of this horrific crime so that some semblance of justice can be served.

When a 22-year-old is murdered, however, is there really any justice?

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.