Teen girl whose body was found burned identified
Police have identified the 15-year-old girl whose body was found badly burned behind a west Indianapolis home.
The coroner identified the victim Tuesday as Dominique Allen. Police had previously said Allen was a student at Ben Davis High School.
Allen's body was found around 12:30 Sunday morning by an uninvolved homeowner who was walking his dog in the 1100 block of Elder Avenue. The coroner ruled Allen's death a homicide by asphyxiation.
Tuesday night, people placed items at the spot where Allen was found. One block away on busy 10th Street, crime scene crews found her sandals and purse in the hard behind an abandoned house where they believe she may have actually been killed.
"This is a big development, yes, given the location this is only a block away from where she was found," said IMPD Det. Marcus Kennedy.
As Kennedy began to explore the vacant home next door, Allen's sisters spoke for her.
"Whoever did this, you took away someone's baby. Somebody's sister. I don't know why you had to do this," said Sheinika Poindexter. "Whatever you do, wherever you go, justice is going to be served in this life or the next. I don't care. They will hurt you and you will die. I don't care. She did not deserve this. She did not deserve this. She was 15 years old."
"We want justice for our sister and everyone else who is missing. A daughter or a sister, everyone out there, we want justice," said Mareeka Allen.
The distraught sisters say Dominique was bubbly and fun, a 15-year-old freshman girl who wanted to go to college and be a model. The location where her personal items were found at 10th and Lynn is only a block away from where the family stood to speak to the media, where Dominique's body was found Sunday.
Poindexter said, "Dominique isn't the type of kid to get into a car with somebody. She never does anything out of character."
"That is my baby and I haven't slept," added Louis Allen, Dominique's father. "I just retired from my job to take care of my daughter. I just lost my wife."
"Keep an eye on your kids. It can happen in the blink of an eye. When they walk out the door to school in the morning, give them a kiss. Tell them you love them," said Poindexter.
Investigators tell Eyewitness News they are taking the case more seriously, because Allen's death may be a random act of violence. They are hoping to get help from the public in identifying the suspect, since Allen may not have known her attacker.
"I don't care what IMPD has to do to bring you to justice. I swear to God on my life you are going to pay for what you did. May God have mercy on your soul," Mareeka Allen said.
A communications officer for MSD Wayne Township said a district-wide phone call was made Monday afternoon providing the following statement for school district families:
"The Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township was heartbroken to learn that a burned body found behind an Indianapolis home at 12:30 Sunday afternoon has been identified by the Marion County Coroner's Office as a Ben Davis Ninth Grade Center student. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is still investigating this incident and has not released her name."
Counselors were on hand Tuesday for students, who learned of Allen's death in an announcement at school.
"We have three counselors at the ninth grade center all the time, but we had 10 there today. They came from Ben Davis High School and some districtwide folks who were able to come in and help the students," said Wayne Township Schools spokesperson Mary Lang. "Not only are they available for them today, but beyond today if they need to continue talking through this. Because it is a very difficult situation to hear about."
The school says about 70 students sat down Tuesday to talk out their concerns with the counselors.
If you have any information about Allen's death or her attacker, call IMPD at (317) 327-3475. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call Crime Stoppers of Indiana at 317-262-TIPS (8477). Callers can text their tip to 888777 with the keyword “IMPD” also included in the body of the text, or text Crime Stoppers of Indiana 274637 (CRIMES) with the keyword “INDYCS” plus tip information.