Woman arrested on murder charge in connection with body found near Ellis Park

An arrest has been made in connection with a dead body found near Ellis Park in November of 2017.

Authorities said Donald Freels' body was found near Ellis Park on November 11, 2017. Police believe Freels was murdered the night before on November 10.

Investigators believe Freels was killed in Evansville.

Based on evidence and interviews, police said they believe Freels was shot and killed during a drug deal.

Monday, Evansville Police arrested 46-year-old Carolyn Butler on a murder charge.

She was taken into custody in Evansville.

Police said the investigation is ongoing and more arrests are possible.

Anyone with information is asked to call EPD or WeTip at 1-800-78-CRIME.

Police affidavit

According to a police affidavit, law enforcement found a cell phone belonging to Freels under the Twin Bridges.

The last number to communicate with Freels, according to authorities, was a number belonging to Carolyn Butler.

During an interview with authorities, police said Butler admitted to selling drugs. According to the affidavit, Butler also made the statement, “wipe me down,” in reference to being killed. Authorities said this was the same phrase texted to Freels from Butler's phone the night before his body was found by authorities.

Police also said that Butler admitted to meeting with Freels at her apartment the day before his body was discovered.

The affidavit details that Butler claims there were two other men with her the night of the alleged murder, Leroy Hunter and Zachery Hunter.

Butler told police they all met on the street near the Army Surplus Store near Second Ave. for a drug deal, according to the affidavit.

Butler and the Hunters were allegedly in a vehicle and Freels walked up to the vehicle.

Butler allegedly told authorities that Freels brought his own scale and when he began to weigh the drugs, she heard two gunshots and could see the muzzle flash in the rearview mirror coming from the gun that Leroy was firing from the back seat in the direction of Freels. Butler also alleged that Zachery pushed her head down and began firing at Freels as well.

According to the affidavit, Butler said she estimated hearing five to nine gunshots in total.

At this point, Butler said Leroy and Zachery loaded Freels' body into the backseat of the vehicle and dumped him at Ellis Park.

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(This story was originally published on Feb. 13, 2018)


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