Crime Watch 8

Homeless woman strangled, stabbed, found dead in church remembered as ‘friendly face’ in Fountain Square

Woman found dead in church was strangled, stabbed

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A homicide victim found in a Fountain Square church was strangled and stabbed multiple times, the coroner’s office said Thursday.

Julie Morey, 58, was found dead Sunday morning on a couch inside the Religious Education Center building at St. Patrick Catholic Church, located at 950 Prospect Street, according to police.

Authorities were unable to confirm the time and location of Morey’s death, or a motive for the killing. 

No arrests had been made and no suspect information was available Thursday. 

Morey was homeless and did not attend services at St. Patrick, Fr. Dennis Schaefer said.

She and her late husband were often seen at Sunday services at Fountain Square Presbyterian Church on Shelby Street, according to a church member who requested not to be identified in this report.

“[Morey] would come maybe once a month,” she told News 8. “We had her husband’s funeral at our church because he didn’t know very many people. We had an honorary service for him and she spoke in front of us. It was really moving the way that she loved him.”

The church member described Morey as a “friendly face” at Fountain Square Presbyterian who was “very kind” and “willing to talk to everyone.”

Wendy Mathiesen, a former Fountain Square resident who works in the neighborhood, said she was “horrified” by news of the brutal killing.

“It just seems unbelievable… that something horrific like that happens practically next door to where you spend your life and your time,” Mathiesen said. 

Fountain Square’s homeless population is “very much part of the community,” she added.

“They were certainly a part of my daily life,” Mathiesen told News 8. “I can’t remember anything like this happening [to] another homeless person [in this neighborhood].”

Community members will hold a memorial vigil Friday, Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. in front of St. Patrick Catholic Church, according to Schaefer.

Anybody with information about the homicide is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.