At least nine women with ties to prostitution have disappeared off the streets of Indianapolis, and police say they haven't ruled out the possibility of a serial criminal's involvement.
On Christmas Eve in 2010, Sandra House went missing. Police say she worked Washington Street near the east side of downtown as a prostitute.
Since then, as many as eight other women, ranging in age from their late teens to mid-40s, have turned up missing. Efforts to find them, both locally and through a national police database and DNA registry, have turned up nothing.
"It's just kind of an odd situation with these ladies, not to mention two witnesses I've tried to find that were related to each of these cases … they've vanished as well," said IMPD Detective Chest Price.
Price said the victims have similar backgrounds, engaged in similar patterns, and shared a common profession – one that put them at considerable risk.
Nicole Hagan, who recognized one of the women portrayed on a missing person bulletin, called Sandra House a "frequent flyer" on Washington Street.
"I wouldn’t say it's what they have coming to them, but they kind of put themselves in that predicament to have that happen," Hagan said. "But I'm sure she's a mother or something. So, I feel sorry. I hope she gets found soon."
Indianapolis police have also enlisted the help of the department's vice and narcotics branches. With so many women who have gone missing over a specific time frame, police haven't ruled anything out, including the possibility of a serial criminal.
"We don't discount the fact that there are people out there who will do to other people harm, that may be victimizing other people," said a spokesman for IMPD's vice unit. "At the same time, we also realize that people disappear for other reasons."
Calling it unusual that so many women from one general area would go missing over time, police are looking at each case individually and collectively to determine if any patterns exist that would explain the disappearances.
"Every one of them have families that want to know what happened and deserve to know what happened to their daughter, their sister or their mother," an IMPD spokesman said. "We want to get that information to them if we can."
Because of the length of their disappearances, metro police have now classified several of these cases as missing and endangered.
Anyone with information related to the disappearances is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 317-481-5155 or to visit the IMPD website, where tips can be left anonymously.