Westfield murder suspect was ex-employee of victim's husband


Court documents released Friday are providing more details about the case against an Indianapolis man arrested Thursday for the murders of a Westfield woman and her daughter.

Christian Rene Haley is charged with eight counts, including murder, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, burglary resulting in serious bodily injury, theft and auto theft. He's accused of brutally beating the victims to death.

Read the probable cause affidavit here.

Haley was a former employee of Sundown Gardens, a lawn-care business owned by the victims' husband and father. The investigation found that Haley worked for Sundown Gardens for about three months, from March to June 2013. He was fired for poor attendance.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Westfield Police were called to a home on Oak Park Court at around 4:40 pm on Dec. 20. They found Marylyn and Kelley Erb dead in the home's basement, and the family's Buick Enclave was missing. Marylyn's husband discovered them when he returned home from work that afternoon.

Marylyn Erb, 52, and Kelley Erb, 23, died from blunt force trauma, according to the autopsies. The weapon used to kill them is unknown, although court documents quote an acquaintance of Haley's who reported Haley as saying he'd "bashed their heads in with cement or something."

Authorities say a cell phone tower in Westfield tower placed Haley close to the crime scene at the time of the murders.

The same acquaintance told police that Haley had talked about robbing an ex-boss because he'd gotten fired, and that Haley "is one of those guys who would go shoot the place up."

Marylyn's husband told police several items had been stolen from the home, including jewelry, an iPhone, credit cards and up to $2,000 in cash.

Crime Stoppers tip

Police got a break in the case on Dec. 24, when a detective got a call from a Crime Stoppers tipster who thought he recognized the "person of interest" whose picture police had released to the media. The caller reported this person talking about the murders and indicating that Haley had been involved.

Police traced fraudulent debit card use to a vehicle captured on video. That eventually led them to Haley's acquaintance.

The bank cards stolen in the crime were used multiple times at different locations on the afternoon of Dec. 20th. Each card had just one successful transaction with a PIN; the other attempts to use the card were declined, records show.

Haley's acquaintance told police that Haley gave him the cards, and that he used them at a CVS and a Crown Liquors store. He also said Haley withdrew $500 using one of the cards.

The man told police Haley admitted to him that Haley had killed Marylyn and Kelley Erb, but that Haley was laughing, so he didn't know if "he was for real."