Man held in death of resident at Indianapolis nursing center

A 60-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the “suspicious” death of a woman at an Indianapolis nursing center where they both were residents, police said.

Officers arrested the man on preliminary murder charges last week, hours after the 80-year-old woman was found inside a room at Homestead Healthcare Center on Indianapolis’ south side.

The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office will determine whether formal charges will be filed in the case.

The woman’s death has been described as “suspicious” by a spokesperson for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

The Marion County Coroner’s Office later identified the woman as 80-year-old Patricia Newnum and said she died from asphyxiation due to smothering. Her death was ruled a homicide.

Both Newnum and the man who was arrested were residents at Homestead Healthcare Center, which is a skilled nursing facility that offers physical therapy and rehabilitation programs.

A spokesperson for Homestead said in a written statement to The Indianapolis Star that the company is “extremely concerned” about the situation and is “cooperating fully with investigators.”

The nursing center declined to comment further on the death, citing the active police investigation.

Police have released little information about the homicide, but after the woman’s death they said they did not believe there was “any ongoing threat to the community.”

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