The death of a woman whose body was found in a south Wichita strip mall parking lot Friday morning is being investigated as a homicide by the Wichita Police Department.
In an e-mail sent Friday afternoon, police Sgt. Nikki Woodrow said the woman suffered a gunshot wound. She is 27 and from Wichita, but her name was not immediately released.
She was pronounced dead at 7:45 a.m. by Emergency Medical Services personnel who responded to Westway Plaza shopping center, in the 2400 block of South Seneca, a Sedgwick County dispatcher said.
A passerby called 911 at about 7:40 a.m. after discovering the woman lying along the southern edge of the shopping center parking lot near an H&R Block office, Sgt. Kevin Kochenderfer said at the scene. She was a few yards from a sidewalk that runs along Seneca between Pawnee and Crawford.
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Officers dispatched to check her welfare determined she was deceased, Kochenderfer said. The woman’s body showed no outward signs of trauma or a struggle, she had identification on her and it didn’t appear that any of her belongings were missing, he said at the time.
“This is still an active investigation,” Woodrow said in her e-mail Friday afternoon. “It is unknown where the shooting occurred and there are no suspects at this time,”
Police are also seeking surveillance video from nearby businesses that might have captured footage showing how the woman’s body came to be lying in the parking lot.
The shopping center sits on the southwest corner of Pawnee and Seneca in an area busy with vehicle and foot traffic during daytime and evening hours. Residential neighborhoods, apartments and several other businesses and restaurants are nearby.
The death is the city’s fifth homicide of the year, Woodrow said.
Contributing: Daniel Salazar of The Eagle