Essie Mae McVey died Thursday at Methodist Hospital, Indianapolis, apparently the victim of one or more gunshot wounds to the head, according to preliminary findings of an autopsy conducted Friday by the Marion County Coroner's Office.
Greencastle City Police have stopped short of confirming a gunshot wound as the cause of death in the McVey case, preferring to wait until official autopsy results have been received from the Marion County coroner.
A further statement by GPD officials was expected to come Tuesday (today).
Meanwhile, funeral services for Mrs. McVey have been scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday at Hopkins-Rector Funeral Home, Greencastle, with Pastor Don Endsley officiating. Interment will follow at Cloverdale Cemetery. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. Thursday until time for the service at the funeral home.
In the meantime, authorities have continued searching for both a suspect and a motive in the assault at Mrs. McVey's Autumn Glen Village Condos residence on Greencastle's Northeast Side.
Investigators believe the incident occurred during mid-morning hours on Tuesday, Aug. 30. About 10:30 a.m. that day, a home health care nurse, making a routine visit to Mrs. McVey's home, reportedly found her on the floor of the residence and alerted 911.
GPD Assistant Chief Brian Hopkins said the first officer on the scene actually had been dispatched there to assist the Operation Life ambulance crew that responded to the condo.
"The scene looked suspicious," he explained, "so detectives were called in."
City Police have been cautious in releasing crime scene details but have revealed that the McVey condo showed no sign of forced entry.
"We can't tell you anything about a suspect because we don't have any suspects," Hopkins added. "There's not even a clear motive of why it happened."
Anyone who may have information about anything unusual they might have seen or heard in the Autumn Glen Village Condos area the morning of Aug. 30 is asked to contact GPD at 848-1539 or 848-1561.
Hopkins said even a little thing could have big consequences in the developing homicide case.
"We want to hear from anyone who lives around there who might have seen anything suspicious or anything out of character or out of the ordinary," the assistant chief added.
Meanwhile, GPD officers and Indiana State Police investigators are continuing to follow up leads, talking with neighbors and gathering anything of potential interest or importance.
Thankfully, Chief Sutherlin said, "We don't have these cases every day. "We want to catch the person that did this just like everyone else does."