Nicole Gland was found at about 9 a.m. slumped over the wheel of a silver SUV in the 100-block of South Calumet, behind the Chesterton Tribune building. A newspaper employee discovered the woman, the newspaper reported.
"At approximately 9 a.m. we received a call from a local business of a vehicle parked off a vacant lot that the driver was slumped over the wheel of," said Chesterton Police Chief David Cincoski.
She was stabbed multiple times while in the seat of her vehicle, but a murder weapon has not been identified. No one was in custody Wednesday.
The Porter County Coroner's Office said an autopsy conducted Thursday confirmed Gland died from multiple stab wounds.
She worked at the Upper Deck Lounge bar, which is next to where she was found.
"Seemed everything was fine yesterday and then looked up on Facebook today and saw there was a murder back here," said Lucas Salazar, resident.
"I actually met her last week. Someone dropped their wallet down from the deck and she came down from the deck. Seemed like a very nice person," said Carlos Chabez, resident.
Gland was well-known in Chesterton, having worked as a bartender there for at least three years. Bar employees said she left work at about 3 a.m.
Police said a motive has not been determined and are not sure if Gland specifically was targeted. However, police do not believe the public is in danger.
"We don't have any reason to believe that this is a target of bartenders or people leaving bars this time of night. We would hope that this is an isolated incident. We do not yet know if it's domestic related or what the motive was," Cincoski said.
Gland's SUV was stopped at the foot of a staircase that lead to the bar, where police spent several hours on Wednesday.
"We are still going over evidence that we were able to obtain at the bar. Have not yet identified or spoken to any last known patrons," Cincoski said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Chesterton police.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.