JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Neighbors said they are concerned about safety and crime in their area after the body of 21-year-old woman was found Thursday morning in a Northwest Jacksonville neighborhood.
The woman was identified as Hannah Darlene Midyette, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said.
The body was spotted about 9:45 a.m. in a wooded area between Harding Avenue and Railroad Avenue by a neighbor who was taking a walk, police said.
Sgt. Chuck Ford said it's unclear how long the body had been there, and detectives will look into whether the woman died there or her body was left there.
One of the neighbors who first spotted the woman's body said it appeared she died somewhere else.
“It almost looks like her body was dumped right there,” the woman, who asked not to be named, said.
Ford said detectives are treating the woman's death as a homicide until they learn more, but there are no obvious signs of foul play.
He said detectives will be investigating the scene where the woman, who was a transient, was found and will interview residents in the area.
Neighbor Zharvellis Holmes, who has lived off Hughes Road with her husband and their six children for the past 10 years, said she is constantly calling police about robberies and drug deals she sees on a regular basis.
“There's a lot of prostitution out here, and it's bad. I've called several times to report it because my kids shouldn't have to see it," Holmes said. “Now, I'm going to be aware and looking out, and anytime someone suspicious comes back here, I'm calling 911 point-blank.”
She said that when she returned home Thursday she saw detectives and crime scene tape across the street.
“My husband went over there and put some weeds there for the city to come get, and I hear the body was right there, so he probably wasn't paying attention, and I'm glad, because my kids were here,” Holmes said.
News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said that after an autopsy identifies the woman's cause of death, investigators will likely check social media accounts to find the last person she was with.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.