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Neighbor sheds light about woman’s body found in U-Haul

A woman in the neighborhood where 26-year old Alyssa Sanderfer once lived talked Thursday about the woman whose body was found Wednesday in a U-Haul van.

The Marion County coroner on Thursday identified the body as Sanderfer’s. 

Sanderfer was stuffed into a small plastic container found in the van returned to a south side U-Haul rental business, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said. Police on Thursday were not calling Wednesday’s discovery a criminal investigation.

Police would not say how long her body had been there. Initially, they believed they had discovered a baby, but later determined it was an adult. The woman in the neighborhood said she may have an explanation for that.

Sanderfer’s cause and manner of death remained under investigation as the coroner’s office awaited toxicology results. Police said they don’t know if Sanderfer died accidentally, of natural causes or if she was killed. They said they don’t know why she was placed inside a container and put in the back of the van.

Online records led WISH-TV to a home on the 2100 block of Wallace Avenue on the city’s east side. The landlord said Sanderfer and her family lived there. Brandi Neely was moving out all the garbage she said the Sanderfer family left behind. 

“The backroom still has their crap in it. Just trying to clean it out,” Neely said.

The home belongs to Neely’s family. They have not located the Sanderfers.

“They had skipped town in the middle of the night. Moved out on my uncle and grandma, rented a U-Haul and moved everything that they could overnight,” Neely said.

According to Neely, they left about a month ago.

Neely said that Sanderfer was disabled and lived with her mom and sister.

“She was basically not able to move. She was on a feeding tube. You couldn’t, she wasn’t conscious to talk to,” Neely said.

“There was some confusion in the initial beginning of the investigation. There was discussion that it may have been an infant,” Sgt. Chris Wilburn of IMPD’s public affairs said.

Wilburn said he could not say what caused the confusion.

Neely said she believes she knows.

“That makes sense. Her arms and legs weren’t developed as a normal grown 26-year old would be,” she said.

Anyone with information was asked to call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477.