FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Muddy footprints marked the wooded resting place.
That’s where a 63-year-old man was found Thursday evening around 7:20 p.m., shot in the chest more than once.
Nobody knows how long he had been there. Nobody knows how long he had been dead.
This place, 20 feet from the sidewalk on McCormick and Birchwood avenues, where rows of small neat homes that line the streets and neighbors know each other, is where the body of 63-year-old William J. Kintzel was found.
Police on the scene the nighty of the murder said two juveniles found the body.
“We’ve been trying to resurrect neighborhood watch here,” said resident Misty Zent.
Zent works at a nearby elementary school and heard that two fifth-graders made the grisly discovery. That has not been confirmed by Fort Wayne police.
A man who lives at the corner of McCormick and Birchwood saw a Silver SUV parked on McCormick Avenue, across from the the woods around the time of the shooting. When he was shown photos of two suspects released Friday by Fort Wayne police, he said one of the men with the razor cut was the driver.
He said he saw another man emerge from the woods with a hooded sweatshirt and face covering. Around the same time, he heard three gun shots.
“But that’s not unusual,” he said. “You hear that all the time around here.” It could have been fireworks, he added.
Zent said the neighborhood has had meetings to resurrect a homeowner association and because of what happened, there will be greater vigilance.
On the opposite corner, Rick Grosjean said he believed police found a vehicle.
“It’s scary,” Zent said. Most of the people are homeowners in the Harvester neighborhood where she’s lived for 11 years. “When scary things like this happen, it’s very intimidating. It really brings it close to home.”
Zent said people are “concerned,” especially with so many kids playing outside. “I would have been devastated for my sons to see that,” she said.
She said she wasn’t aware that kids often used the woods, but they use the sidewalk all the time that goes past the woods.
Kintzel is the sixth homicide in Allen County this year and the third this month.
Kintzel was facing a two-day jury trial for cocaine possession starting May 10 in Allen Superior Court Judge Steven Godfrey. He was arrested in August and was charged with a Felony 6, the lowest felony level in the state.