By Charlie De Mar

(CBS) — A young woman was found dead this morning in Chesterton, Ind., just hours after leaving her shift as a bar tender.

She has been identified as 24-year-old Nicole Gland.

Police are assuring the community there is no threat to the general public as they search for the person who killed Gland. She reportedly had been stabbed to death.

“I didn’t think it’s real. I still don’t think it’s real. I didn’t think something like this could happen to a person like her,” a friend of the victim, Elizabeth Oprisko, tells CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar.

Police say Gland was found slumped over the steering wheel of her car. An employee of the local newspaper made the gruesome discovery.

Friends say Gland left the Upper Deck bar, where she was a bartender, around 3 a.m. Wednesday. Her car was found around 9:15 a.m. on the property.

“She was just a beautiful person, and to be brutally murdered like that — my heart goes out her family and her friends,” family friend Mark Oprisko says.

An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday.

“Whoever did this didn’t just hurt her, they hurt her family first of all, her friends, everbody who cared about her,” said Elizabeth Oprisko.

Detectives were called to the scene and determined a homicide had occurred, police said. The murder is believed to be the first in town in about three years.

Anyone with information should the Chesterton Police Department at (219) 926-1136.

Charlie De Mar