Owners of home in explosion bewildered by investigation
The attorney representing the owners of the home at the center of the south side explosion says they "watched in bewilderment" as the prosecutor announced a criminal homicide investigation into the blast that killed two people.
Attorney Randall Cable issued a statement early Tuesday morning at the instruction of Monserrate Shirley and her boyfriend, Mark Leonard, who lived at the Fieldfare Way home that exploded late on the night of November 10.
"My clients have instructed me to issue the following comment and then ask that they be left alone," Cable wrote in an email sent to news media at midnight Tuesday.
"Monserrate Shirley and Mark Leonard watched in bewilderment the news report that the authorities are now treating the investigation as a criminal investigation as well as a causation search.@The two remain horrified at the tragic events, destruction, and loss of lives that occurred and have been cooperating with the authorities since their return to Indianapolis over the weekend," Cable's statement read. "They have cooperated fully with various investigators and agencies on multiple occasions and have answered each and every question including speculation as to whether they may have been targeted by anyone.@They wish for the causation of this horrific and saddening tragedy to be determined.
"The speculation of social media has centered on various aspects of their lives targeting them in the investigation. Throughout the days since that night the two have been pursued by media constantly requesting interviews as to how they are doing, and how they feel. Assumptions by everyone have had a field day at their expense. They continue to cooperate with the authorities and will have no further comments."
The statement came after Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced Monday evening during a press conference with Mayor Greg Ballard and Indianapolis Department of Homeland Security Director Gary Coons that he was launching a criminal homicide investigation into the explosion.
"While the fire investigation has been progressing, there has been a parallel investigation, not solely focusing on the cause of the explosion but focusing on individuals who may have been responsible once accidental causes were eliminated. That investigation has consisted of numerous interviews with various individuals as well as execution of a number of search warrants and is being conducted jointly by the IMPD and the MCPO," Curry said. "Based upon those interviews and results of those search warrants, that investigation is now considered an active criminal homicide investigation."
Shirley and Leonard's neighbors, Dion and Jennifer Longworth, died in the explosion. They were laid to rest in a funeral service Monday afternoon.
Other residents or Richmond Hill say the fact that their neighborhood has essentially been on lock down, with dozens of local and federal agents combing debris, made it clear that the explosion was no accident.
People are left speculating and wondering just what happened at the house where the explosion is believed to have happened.
"You try to watch your neighbors," said Doug Aldridge, who lives in Richmond Hill. "But once they go in and go out, you can't pick your neighbors, you can't pick your neighbor's friends. There was nothing that stuck out. That's the troubling thing. There was nothing glaring about what was going on in the neighborhood.