Case of Missing Indiana Mother Now a Death Investigation After Foot With Distinct Tattoo Found in Pond, Authorities Say

A fisherman reported snagging what appeared to be a human foot in a pond in Indiana

Authorities gave an update Wednesday in the search for a 30-year-old missing Indiana mother.

Monday night two people fishing discovered a human foot. A distinct tattoo reveals it likely belongs to Najah Ferrell from Avon, Indiana, Crown Point authorities said.

Authorities said the disembodied foot has now prompted a death investigation and say the search for more remains will continue later this week.

Ferrell once lived in Lake County, not far from where her remains were discovered Monday.

"That’s absolutely devastating information for the family but we didn’t have a whole lot of answers for them," Deputy police Chief Brian Nugent of the Avon Police Department said.

At a press conference Wednesday, Avon police revealed Ferrell once lived in Gary, Indiana in the same county where the remains were discovered Monday.

"Najah and her family do have relatives who live in the northwestern area of Indiana, specifically we don’t have a target if you would of a location or house or individual, historically there are ties there through the family," Nugent said.

The 30-year-old mother of two, who also serves as a foster parent, hasn’t been seen since mid-March.

Police have located some of her personal belongings scattered along I-65 outside of Indianapolis.

Law enforcement officials returned to search the pond where the foot was found Tuesday. They used drone cameras, divers and cadaver dogs.

"We do believe at this point foul play is involved in this investigation," Nugent said.

Police say there is no person of interest in custody, but they are exploring all tips and leads, imploring the public to come forward with any information.

Police are waiting for DNA test results from the Indiana State Police Laboratory to positively identify the remains.

Search teams will continue to scour the pond where a foot was found later this week, as well as the surrounding area.

Crown Point police hope to have their drone up and dive teams back in the water on Thursday.

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