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MERRILLVILLE — A woman found dead Sunday at a hotel near the Interstate 65/U.S. 30 interchange has been identified.

Betty Claudio, 44, was pronounced dead in a homicide at 1:58 p.m. Sunday at the Hampton Inn, 8353 Georgia St. in Merrillville, according to the Lake County Coroner's Office. 

Claudio's address was listed as the Hampton Inn where her body was discovered. Police confirmed Monday she is from Gary.

Merrillville police found Claudio after they were called about 1 p.m. to the hotel for a death investigation, Cmdr. Jeff Rice said.

The death is being investigated as a possible homicide, police said. A cause of death was not listed on a coroner's news release Monday morning. 

The case appears to be an isolated crime, police said.

Police ask anyone with information about the homicide to call Detective Lt. Ray Smith or Detective Aaron Ridgeway at 219-769-3722, ext. 347.

The Lake County sheriff's Crime Scene Unit and Superior Ambulance assisted at the scene.

Investigators announced early Monday morning they were searching for a vehicle registered to Claudio. 

In a news release, Merrillville police said the vehicle is a 2000 silver Buick Century with an Indiana license plate 612RDF. The car possibly has a damaged grill and passenger headlight. 

Anyone who locates this vehicle should contact Merrillville Police Detective Aaron Ridgway at 219-769-3531, ext. 347 or aridgway@merrillville.in.gov, officials said.

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