The Murder of Hannah Wilson

Visited Same Bar as Lauren Spierer

Daniel Messel and Hannah Wilson
Daniel Messel (L), Hannah Wilson. Mug Shot, Facebook

In the early morning hours of Friday, April 24, 2015, 22-year-old Indiana University student Hannah Wilson disappeared sometime after her friends put her into a taxi at Kilroy's Sports Bar after deciding that she was too intoxicated to go inside. Her body was found at 8:34 a.m. by a passerby off Plum Creek Road near State Road 45 in Brown County, about 30 minutes from her home.

Here are the latest developments in the Hannah Wilson case:

Messel Seeks Funds for Defense

Nov. 5, 2015 - The man accused of beating to death a Indiana University student will be given an opportunity to seek more public funds for his defense, a judge has ruled. Daniel Messel is seeking money for expert witnesses and investigators to prepare for his trial for the murder of Hannah Wilson.

Messel, who claims to be indigent, claimed his right to a fair trial would be compromised if he was not allowed to hire expert witnesses and investigators. The judge decided to allow Messel's attorneys to argue for the need of experts out of the presence of prosecutors and the media.

In previous rulings, Messel was granted a delay in the start of his trial, which was originally scheduled in July. It is now scheduled to begin in February to give his attorneys time to prepare.

Messel has also requested a change of venue for the trial out of Brown County, Indiana, but the judge delayed that ruling until after jury selection has taken place.

Messel was arrested shortly after the beaten body of 22-year-old Wilson was discovered in April because his cell phone was found near her body.

Wilson Murder Linked to Spierer Case?

April 28, 2015 - Authorities are trying to determine if the abduction and murder of a 22-year-old Indiana University student on Friday is linked to the disappearance of a 20-year-old IU student who visited the same sports bar the night she vanished.

Hannah Wilson was apparently abducted and murdered shortly after her friends put her into a taxi at Kilroy's Sports Bar early Friday morning. Lauren Spierer left her shoes and her cell phone in the same bar the night she disappeared on June 3, 2011.

"We are exploring the possibility of a connection," Bloomington Police Capt. Joe Qualters told reporters.

However, an former FBI agent currently working leads in the Spierer case said he would be surprised if the two cases were related.

"Could there be a link? I suppose there could," said Brad Garrett, now a news consultant. "I would say based on the story lines that I'm developing -- and I don't know if they're fact yet -- (they) would not fit that scenario. But I'm really open to anything that will solve this case and help us find Lauren."

Garrett also said it would be difficult to determine at this point if the two cases are related because little information has been released on the Spierer investigation.

"I have not dealt with a case where the police released so little information," he said. "I guarantee you they know a lot more. I'm sure they've looked at cell phone traffic of every person she was with the night she disappeared."

Indiana Student Abducted, Killed

April 24, 2015 - A 49-year-old man has been arrested and charged with the murder of a 22-year-old Indiana University student just hours after her body was found beside a road in a rural area. Daniel Messel has been charged in the beating death of Hannah Wilson, a senior at the university.

Police said Wilson and her friends spent Friday night drinking at a party at Hilton Garden Inn. When they later arrived at Kilroy's Sports Bar, they determined that Wilson was too intoxicated to enter the bar and they put her in a taxi.

They saw her get into the cab and give the driver her home address. She was not seen again until a 9-1-1 caller reported finding her body near Lake Lemon about 10 miles from the university.

The arrest of a suspect came quickly because a cell phone was found near Wilson's body which was linked to Messel, who did not show up for work Friday at a print shop. He was arrested when he returned later to the mobile home he shares with his stepfather.

When he was arrested, Messel was leaving the home carrying a bundle of clothes under his arm. The clothes were confiscated along with Messel's computer and vehicle after troopers served a search warrant.

According to court papers, Messel appeared to have claw marks on his forearms at the time of his arrest. A later search of his Kia found blood splatter on the driver's side of his SUV and blood and a clump of long black hair on the console of the vehicle.

Gerald Messel, the stepfather, told investigators that Messel had recently mentioned meeting a girl named Hannah in the local bars.

The coroner said Wilson died between 1:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. of blunt force trauma.

Indiana State Police said their investigation determined that the cab driver picked up Wilson at Kilroy's at 1 a.m. and delivered her to her residence on East Eighth Street.

Messel has a criminal record and was sentenced to eight years in prison in 1996 after pleading guilty to battery with a deadly weapon and battery causing serious bodily injury.

He is being held without bond in Brown County jail and a trial has been scheduled for July 22.