Earlier this month, I wrote about a massive explosion in Indianapolis which killed two people, injured seven others, leveled two homes, and did about $4 million in damage to surrounding homes. It was originally suspected of being a terrible accident. It is now a homicide investigation.
Indianapolis Homeland Security Director Gary Coons made the announcement Monday evening, shortly after a funeral was held for the husband and wife who were killed. The couple lived next door to the house where investigators believe the blast occurred.Officials believe that natural gas was involved in the explosion. No arrests have yet been made.
"We are turning this into a criminal homicide investigation," Coons said after meeting with local residents, marking the first time investigators have acknowledged a possible criminal element to the Nov. 10 explosion.
Search warrants have been executed and officials are now looking for a white van that was seen in the subdivision the day of the blast, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said. Federal authorities are offering a $10,000 reward for information in the case.
...Hundreds of people attended the funeral earlier Monday for the couple killed in the explosion, 34-year-old John Dion Longworth and 36-year-old Jennifer Longworth.
She was a second-grade teacher remembered for knitting gifts for her students, while her husband, an electronics expert, was known as a gardener and nature lover. The school where Jennifer Longworth taught was closed Monday so teachers and students could attend the funeral.
...The couple lived next door to the house where investigators are focusing.
The co-owner of that house, John Shirley, told The Associated Press he had recently received a text message from his daughter saying the furnace in the home, which she shares with her mother and her mother's boyfriend, had gone out.
Shirley's ex-wife, Monserrate Shirley, said her boyfriend, Mark Leonard, had replaced the thermostat recently and the furnace had resumed working.
She and her boyfriend were away at a casino at the time of the blast. The daughter was staying with a friend, and the family's cat was being boarded.
Whoever did this, it appears that the Longworths were not even the targets. Just collateral damage in a plot of explosive hatred. Seethe.