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Authorities seek help identifying possible victim of serial killer

(GARY, Ind.) Authorities are seeking the public’s help in identifying a woman whose body was found decomposed when supected serial killer Darren Vann led police to the basement of a vacant home in Northwest Indiana.

The woman, thought to be in her 30s or 40s, was found Oct. 19 at 413 E. 43rd Ave. in Gary, Ind., according to the Lake County Coroner’s office.

Vann, who has been charged with the murders of two women and is suspected in at least four others, led police to the home, where two bodies were found.

A forensic analysis determined the woman was likely Hispanic, though test results were “ambiguous” and other races cannot be ruled out, authorities said. The woman was about 5-foot-6 with an average build. Investigators found healed fractures in her nose, suggesting she suffered a past injury.

Anyone with information should call the coroner’s office at (219) 755-3265.

Vann, 43, of Gary, is charged with murder, murder in perpetration of robbery, and robbery resulting in serious bodily injury in the Oct. 17 strangulation death of Afrika Hardy, 19, whose body was found in a Hammond motel bathtub.

He also faces the same charges in the death of Anith Jones, 35, of Merrillville.

Vann led police investigators to Jones’ body, which was found Oct. 18 in the basement of an abandoned home at 421 E. 43rd Ave., Gary. Jones had been reported missing Oct. 8, and her car was found in the 4900 block of Louisiana Street parked in the driveway at an abandoned home.

In all, Vann has provided police with locations of seven alleged victims, including three who remain unidentified. Two of those women were found in the basement at 413 E. 43rd Ave., next door to the home where Jones was found, and the third was found Oct. 19 in an abandoned home in the 2200 block of Massachusetts Street in Gary.