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Patricia Anderson

A woman is found dead and her apartment is set on fire

  • Last updated: June 20, 2023
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • July 29, 1973

Overview of Patricia Anderson

Patricia A. Anderson was born on June 9, 1930, and was 43 years old at the time of her death. Patricia was recently divorced but had moved into an apartment in Indianapolis with her 18-year-old daughter.

On the evening of Saturday, July 29, 1973, Patricia was home and in bed. Her 18-year-old daughter, Cynthia, was going out on a date at 9:30 p.m. During the early morning hours of Sunday, July 30, 1973, a neighbor noticed smoke coming from Patricia's ground-level apartment. The neighbor noticed an unidentified man leaving the building. When the neighbor went to check on the situation, the young man told the neighbor, "Don't bother her. She's already dead.". This young man is described as approximately 6 feet tall with shoulder-length hair and possibly in his 20s. He was wearing a white T-shirt.

The neighbor proceeded to break down her apartment door and warn other neighbors about the fire. When authorities arrived on the scene, it was quickly assumed that Patricia had died because 40% of her body was covered in burns. Patricia was found six feet from her apartment door. There were two separate areas inside the apartment, one in her bedroom and one from the living room couch. Authorities searched her apartment and could not find Patricia's wallet or purse, suggesting the possibility of robbery. A neighbor did share with police that in the weeks leading up to Patricia's death, there was an 'unusual' number of solicitors in the building. A short time later, Cynthia arrived home from her date as her mother was being brought into an ambulance.

Later that day, an autopsy was performed on Patricia. Originally, it was assumed that Patricia died from the burns. During the autopsy, it was discovered that she had been stabbed 21 times in the face, neck, and rib cage. According to the coroner's report, she was stabbed with a 'very sharp,thin-bladed weapon'. Police believe the fires were set intentionally in an attempt to cover her murder. Samples from the sofa and bedding were obtained from the crime scene, but the status and test results remain unknown. The police were able to determine that a flammable liquid was used to start the fires. The fires caused an estimated $10,000 worth of damage.

Where the case stands today. Patricia's killer has never been caught, and her case remains unsolved. Patricia's family is still actively seeking justice. If you have any information, please contact the Homicide Investigations and Cold Case Unit, Det. James M. Strode with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department at (317)327-3475.


  1. Date Found:July 29, 1973
  2. Date of Death:July 29, 1973
  3. Birthday:June 9, 1930
  4. Age at Incident:43
  5. Race:White / Caucasian
  6. Gender:Female

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