Two questioned in south side explosion investigation - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Two questioned in south side explosion investigation

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Bob Leonard had no comment for us Wednesday. Bob Leonard had no comment for us Wednesday.
INDIANAPOLIS -

For the first time since the investigation into the south side explosion began, it's moved away from the Richmond Hill site.

Investigators have impounded a white van looking for evidence, and they've questioned two people in connection with the case.

One of them, Bob Leonard, is a relative of the man who lives in the house at the center of the explosion on Fieldfare Way.

On Tuesday, police zeroed in on the southwest side mobile home park where Leonard lives. Witnesses say they searched his home, but found Leonard walking down a nearby street.

Search warrants were issued Tuesday in connection with this investigation. Investigators say they were looking for information about a white van. A neighbor of Leonard's told Eyewitness News he's seen a white van at Leonard's mobile home.

"He said it was his brother's van, 'cause he came over and talked to us. We seen the police here previously, before that and he said it was his brother's van. Didn't say his name or anything, but it was sitting here for about two weeks and it's been gone for about a week and a half now," said Brad Horton, witness.

That van was seized by investigators.

Eyewitness News stopped by Bob Leonard's home Wednesday morning. He was home, but had no comment.

Investigators are back at the explosion site still gathering evidence while contractors and homeowners are working to get their homes back together.

At the center of this investigation are two people, Monserrate Shirley, the owner of the home on Fieldfare Way that exploded, and her boyfriend Mark Leonard.

Shirley and her then-husband John bought the house. When the two split in 2011, Shirley got the house. No one knows when Mark Leonard moved in, but we do know that Leonard has been a resident of Indiana Department of Corrections and the Marion County Jail. He has a criminal history dating back to the 1980s.

The house is gone and they have both been extensively questioned.

"It's just that I'm devastated that I lost it all. My neighbors lost a life, you know? That my whole neighborhood is destroyed," Shirley told Eyewitness News last week.

It did not take investigators long to determine that natural gas was a factor in the explosion. Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said the explosion was set on purpose and the investigation is a criminal homicide.

The investigation has dozens of investigators and several agencies. At the top of the information chain is Indianapolis Homeland Security Director Gary Coons. Working under him is a new investigative unit called the Unified Command, including Indianapolis Fire Department investigators, Indianapolis Metro Police and the ATF, as well as the Marion County Prosecutor's Office.

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