Update 4:10 p.m.: Evanston police say a woman’s body was found around noon today in an alcove outside a Hinman Avenue entrance to First United Methodist Church.

Police Cmdr. Ryan Glew says the victim appears to have suffered blunt force trauma to the head and police are investigating the case as a homicide.

Glew says the victim appears to be an African American woman at least 30 years old, but a full identification hasn’t yet been released.

He says the victim is not affiliated with Northwestern University. It’s believed the victim may have died up to 24 hours before she was found.

The 1600 block of Hinman Avenue has been blocked to traffic for much of the afternoon while the investigation continues.

Evanston’s last homicide happened on Feb. 8 this year when 20-year-oild Yakez Semark was shot to death in the 1800 block of Hovland Court. Two men have been charged with first degree murder in that death.

Update 10:55 p.m.: Northwestern University police this evening issued a crime alert confirming the victim has no connection with the university and saying she is believed to have been homeless.

The incident is being investigated by Evanston police and the North Regional Major Crimes Task Force and investigators do not believe there is an ongoing threat to the community.

Police have increased patrols in the area and Northwestern community service officers are on foot patrol in residence halls.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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