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Indiana Family Friend, 18, Arrested in Connection with Murder of 77-Year-Old Grandmother

77-Year-Old Indiana Woman Killed, ‘Friend of Family’ Arrested: Police
Source: Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department; Unsplash

Zakii Dawson has been charged in connection with the murder of Mary Sims, police said.

Jan. 17 2024, Published 12:01 p.m. ET

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A 77-year-old grandmother in Indiana was found murdered in her home, and now police say an 18-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the killing.

Around 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 12, officers responded to a home in Indianapolis after receiving a report of a disturbance, according to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

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At the scene, investigators found Mary Sims unresponsive with “undisclosed” trauma, officials said. The elderly victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Zakii Dawson was initially detained as a person of interest, police said.

During their investigation, authorities determined a disturbance of some sort occurred before the Sims' death.

Detectives spoke with Dawson and subsequently arrested the teenager for murder.

Police said he was known to the victim, but they did not indicate the nature of the relationship. In an online fundraiser shared by Sims’ granddaughter, Dawson was described as a “friend of the family,” WXIN reported.

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According to the IMPD, officers were called to the Indianapolis home twice in less than three weeks for disturbances involving Dawson. The latest disturbance took place the day before Sims’ body was found.

Dawson is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Jan. 17.

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