On October 9, 1973, Carmen Hope Van Huss of Indianapolis, Indiana, was born. She was primarily raised by her aunt and uncle since her parents divorced when she was just a young girl. But despite that family strife, Carmen still remained close to both her parents and her younger brother.
Then, as a teen, she attended Lawrence Central High School. However, Carmen eventually began to struggle in her classes and opted to drop out– earning a GED instead.
Her decision to take a different path did not change Carmen’s character, though. She was known by family and friends as a beautiful, loving young woman who never got into any trouble, adored animals, dreamt of becoming a veterinarian, and had a strong passion for drawing.
Yet, by the time Carmen was nineteen, everything would change for her and her family.
It all began on the night of March 22, 1993, when Carmen went with her father and younger brother to visit her grandmother in the hospital. Afterward, following the visit, she drove her family back to their home at about 10:30 p.m. before heading back to her apartment on the north side of town.
Her father reportedly asked Carmen to stay over that evening since it had already gotten late. But, she declined the invitation– since she was scheduled to work at Pizza Hut the following morning and needed to wash her uniforms that night.
Carmen did arrive safely at her apartment at about 11:00 p.m., according to neighbors. However, she was also reportedly with an unknown man, and the pair were heard talking and laughing in the stairwells.
Later statements collected by police also revealed that the neighbors had heard Carmen being attacked by the same unknown man inside her apartment between 1:00 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. The teen reportedly yelled, “Get off me! Get off me!” before the building went silent, and footsteps were heard leaving her apartment.
Unfortunately, though, Carmen’s neighbors did not call the police that evening. Instead, they opted to submit a noise complaint to the apartment’s front office, who later left a note on the teen’s door the next morning.