ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Police have arrested the man they believe killed 23-year-old Samuel Bennett in Zionsville near a public trail.
James Earl Hughes is charged with murder after police say he shot and killed Bennett near rail trail in Zionsville.
Court documents show he admitted to killing Bennett to his parents.
“It has shocked the community to its core. Nobody ever thinks or expects this to happen in your neighborhood, or your town, or in your community,” says Zionsville Police Chief Robert Knox.
Police say they found Bennett’s body near a retention pond. He had been shot multiple times in the back.
Later that day an officer found a gun and footprints nearby, evidence that later connected them to the suspect.
“A lot of it was just good, old-fashioned police work, going door to door, knocking on doors, speaking to people,” says Captain Charles White, Investigations Commission.
Police haven’t said how Hughes and Bennett knew each other or why Hughes shot Bennett.
Court documents say David Meschino Jr. bought the gun for Hughes because he told him he “beef” with someone and that he was worried. Meschino said Hughes told him he couldn’t buy it himself because of a former felony conviction. Police found no felony charges on Hughes’ record.
Meschino faces charges for criminal transfer of a firearm.
The suspect’s parents told police their son told them about the murder.
They checked him into a stress facility in Indianapolis where days later he was arrested.
Police matched the shoes he had in the hospital to the prints that were found on the crime scene. They also found gun cartridges that matched what was found on the scene in a drawer in Hughes’ bedroom.
“I don’t think anybody should be worried at this time. Obviously, we want everybody to be aware of their surroundings and keep mindful of what’s going on in the area where they are at,” says White.
Though Hughes is in the Boone County Jail on murder charges and is being held without bond, police are still looking for answers.
“There are several things we really want to lock down on in the investigation. Some of that is the timeline obviously, on the trail, if there was any movement. If we can get anybody’s information on that,” says White.
Police want to talk to people who were near the area of the crime between 5:30 and 7 a.m. on April 28.
Anyone with information should contact Zionsville Police Department.