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UPDATED: Cell Phone, Blood Links Man To IU Student's Alleged Murder
Updated April 27, 2015 5:14 PM | Filed under: Crime
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Hannah Wilson

(NASHVILLE) - According to a probable cause affidavit, police found Daniel Messel's cell phone near the body of Indiana University student Hannah Wilson.

Messel will appear in Brown County Circuit Court today at 2:30 p.m. via video conferencing. In court, Brown Circuit Judge Judith Stewart appointed public defender Andy Szakaly to represent Messel. He is being held without bond at the Brown County Jail. A bail review hearing is set for May 15 with a preliminary trial date set for July 22.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Brown County Deputies found Wilson's body near Plum Creek Road near State Roafter on Friday around 8:30 a.m. after a woman driving on Plum Creek Road saw Wilson's body face-down in a vacant lot.

The body was later identified as that of Wilson. Police say she had "significant trauma" to the head with a substantial amount of blood pooling under her head. Blood splatter was found all around the body in the grass.

At the crime scene police found a black cell phone in a red case near Wilson's feet. Police later determined the phone belong to Messel.

According to police Wilson had been at a party at a room in the Hilton Garden Inn on Thursday night. At some point her friends decided to go to Kilroy's Sports Bar, but determined that Wilson was too intoxicated to continue staying out with them. They talked about calling an UBER cab when a taxi arrived. Wilson got into the taxi alone and witnesses heard her tell the driver where she lived. That was the last time anyone saw Wilson alive.

Through the cell phone police were able to determine that Messel worked at Fine Print Printing in Bloomington, but he had not showed up for work on Friday, which employees say was unusual.

Police then went to Messel's last known address in Bloomington. It was the home of Messel's father. He told police that he had went to dinner with his son at Cheddar's Thursday night around 6 pm. According to Messel's father, his son went out to Yogi's Bar and Grill for trivia night with friends around 8 p.m., something he does every Thursday night. However his father says Messel did not return home from Yogi's, which was unusual.

A colleague, who works with Messel, confirmed that Messel had given him a ride home around 11 p.m. Thursday.

On Friday, police received a missing person's report from Wilson's fellow sorority members of Gamma Phi Beta. Police then began retracing her activities.

Then they got a call from a neighbor that Daniel Messel had returned home.

When police arrived, Messel was carrying a plastic garbage bag full of clothing out of his home. Police collected it as evidence. They noticed that Messel had several claw marks on his forearms. Police also found blood splatter on the driver's side door of Messel's 2012 silver Kia Sportage and blood splatter in the interior and a clump of long-dark hair on the console.

Police arrested Messel for murder and transported him to the Bloomington State Police post for questioning. Once there and advised of his rights, Messel refused to answer questions.

According to Brown County Coroner Earl Piper, Wilson had been dead for 10 hours or less when she was found. An autopsy report says Wilson received 4 blows to the head. The blows were delivered with such force they crushed Wilson's skull.

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