Investigation continues into Beech Grove homicide - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Investigation continues into Beech Grove homicide

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Rachel Wurster with her daughter Rachel Wurster with her daughter
Braxton Vaughn (mug shot from 2005) Braxton Vaughn (mug shot from 2005)
Channing Vanover, cousin Channing Vanover, cousin
Lee Ham, Wurster's mother Lee Ham, Wurster's mother

Jennifer Reyes/Eyewitness News

Beech Grove - Eyewitness News is learning more about a murder involving two siblings. It happened Wednesday morning in Beech Grove. The victim's mother has a message for the alleged killer.

"If he gets to see this on the news I hope he knows that I don't hate him. I love him," said Lee Ham.

Lee Ham has loving words for the man who says he's responsible for taking the life of her only daughter, Rachel Wurster.

"I just don't know what went wrong," said Ham.

The body of 25-year-old Rachel Wurster was found Wednesday morning inside her apartment. Police say 25-year-old Braxton Vaughn confessed to killing her.

The two grew up on the city's east side. Lee Ham says she made Vaughn part of her family after learning that he could end up in a correctional facility if she didn't.

"So we took him in, and that was ten and a half years ago," said Ham.

But Vaughn's troubled life began long before that. Channing Vanover grew up with him. He says Vaughn's mother abandoned him when he was very young.

"She went from alcohol to crack cocaine, to literally tricking down 10th Street," said Vanover.

Vanover says Vaughn grew up in foster care and never graduated from high school, and that Vaughn joined the military when he was 19 only to be discharged because he had Crohn's disease.

According to Vanover, Wurster and Vaughn dated when they were in middle school.

"I knew that they had messed around a few times, other than that, but nothing I knew of within the past five years I hadn't heard nothing of that," Vanover.

That's why he's shocked by what Vaughn confessed to.

"I still can't believe it," said Vanover.

Lee Ham simply wants to know why.

"I find good in everyone and I know I will never know the reason why," she said.

Her daughter was looking forward to the new year. Rachel Wurster had a new job and a new outlook on life with her two-year-old daughter Julianna.

Never once did Lee Ham think the man whom she considered her own son would be capable of killing her daughter. But she says what she feels for him remains unchanged.

"I don't have to like him. I don't like what he did, but I love him," said Ham.

Ham says she doesn't regret letting Vaughn move in with her family, and she's planning to visit him after the holidays.

Rachel Wurster's funeral is scheduled for January 1st.

The family asks that all memorial contributions be made to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Police are still investigating the case.

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