Key witness speaks out about Indianapolis south side explosion


A 13 Investigates exclusive: A key witness in the Richmond Hill Explosion case reveals why she came forward with incriminating evidence.

The November 10 explosion killed Jennifer and Dion Longworth. Monserrate Shirley, Mark Leonard and his brother, Bob Leonard, face arson and murder charges.

In court documents, the witness is only known as "JG." Just 18 years old, the young woman is now a key witness in an explosive crime.

"It's just heartbreaking and stupid," she told 13 Investigates. "Two innocent people should not have to die because someone wants some money."

JG is the ex-girlfriend who watched as suspect Bob Leonard and his son, Justin, unloaded a white van full of personal items "salvaged" from a house blown to pieces.

It was the day after the Richmond Hill explosion.

The problem, prosecutors say, is that nothing was salvageable at the center of the blast at Shirley and Mark Leonard's home and no one aside from investigators was allowed in the rubble.

"Did he tell you what he saw in the box?" asked 13 Investigates' Sandra Chapman.

"Yeah, he said it was family pictures, just basically non-replaceable items," JG said.

"So the thought is that (Monserrate Shirley) and Mark went through the house..." Chapman said.

"And got everything that they wanted...needed out of it and then, 'Boom'," JG replied.

In the exclusive interview with 13 Investigates, JG revealed how she learned what was inside the boxes that Justin later hid in her basement.

"On the way home, I asked him, 'What's in the boxes?' And he said, 'Well, let's see your phone, to make sure you're don't have anybody on the phone.' Then he explained to me it was...pre-explosion evidence," JG said.

But just days later, JG and Justin had a falling out. He left and Bob Leonard reportedly came back for the stuff. JG agreed to tell police everything she knew after telling her roommate.

"She said, 'What are those boxes?'," JG said. "And as soon as he walked out the door, I said, 'Okay, listen, they're evidence from the south side explosion disaster. They knew about it before it happened."

Within 24 hours, both Justin and his father, Bob Leonard, were taken in for questioning.

"I'm not sorry at all, because they deserve what they get, because had it not been for me and him driving over there, we would have never known they had any involvement," JG said.

Justin Leonard has reportedly told police similar details about storing the boxes. He has since reportedly moved out of state.

Bob and Mark Leonard, along with Monserrate Shirley, are all facing murder, arson and felony conspiracy charges. Investigators are still searching for a fourth suspect, who is believed to have been in the van with Bob Leonard the day of the explosion.

See all stories, video and documents related to the south side explosion.