IU student’s body found along road in Brown County

A 49-year-old Bloomington man is in jail on a murder charge after an Indiana University student’s body was found in northwestern Brown County.

Daniel E. Messel, 49, Bloomington, was booked into the Brown County jail Friday night. He was arrested at a home on Ison Road in Bloomington, police said.

An autopsy Saturday morning showed that Hannah N. Wilson died of blunt force trauma to the back of the head. Brown County Coroner Earl Piper said no weapons were found at the crime scene.

It appeared Wilson had been dead for 10 hours or less when she was found, Piper said.

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A woman driving on Plum Creek Road Friday morning saw Wilson’s body face-down in a vacant lot at State Road 45 and Plum Creek, near Lake Lemon. A report came in to the Brown County Sheriff’s Department at 8:30 a.m.

The Indiana State Police said Wilson was reported missing Friday afternoon. Twitter posts from friends and family asking for help in locating her started appearing around that time. A family member’s post said she had been missing since Thursday night.

Wilson, of Fishers, was a senior at IU and a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority.

It was unclear how Wilson and Messel came into contact.

Brown County Prosecutor Ted Adams said the investigation is ongoing.

Online records show Messel has a history of violent crime. He was convicted of battery in 1993; leaving the scene of the accident and operating a vehicle while intoxicated, both in 1994; and battery by means of a deadly weapon and battery resulting in serious bodily injury in 1995.

A battery resulting in bodily injury charge was filed against him in August 2006, but was later amended to disorderly conduct.

Wilson’s death came during Little 500 bicycle race weekend, normally one of the biggest celebrations of the school year. Events were being planned on campus and in her hometown to remember her.