An aerial view on Sunday of two homes leveled after an explosion on the Southeastside of Indianapolis. The November 10 damaged homes and led to the evacuation of residents.
Matt Kryger/The Indianapolis Star from WTHR Chopper 13
(Indianapolis, Ind.) - The deadly, massive explosion in an Indianapolis subdivision that destroyed or damaged nearly 80 homes is now a homicide investigation.
The night of November 10, a large explosion occurred in the Richmond Hill neighborhood left a crater at the site of the home where it originated. Two people in a neighboring home were killed and several other people were hurt. An estimated $4.4 million in damage was done.
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced Monday that the blast was no accident. After speaking with numerous witnesses, investigators have come to the determination that the explosion was planned.
“Based upon those interviews and the results of the search warrants, we can confirm tonight that there is an active homicide investigation in this matter,” Curry said.
The investigation centers around a mysterious white van that was seen in the neighborhood earlier in the day. Investigators wouldn’t say what precisely led detectives to determine the explosion was intentional.
Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana is offering a $1,000 reward and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is offering up to $10,000 for an arrest and conviction in the case.
Monday’s new developments in the investigation didn’t come as a surprise to some Richmond Hill residents. Doug Aldridge says people have actually found comfort in the turn that the investigation has taken.
“You asked people a week ago, they didn’t want to come back because they were afraid their homes were going to blow up. Now with the turn in the investigation people are thinking ‘You know this is a pretty nice neighborhood. We moved in here for certain reasons.”
Aldridge added that he had seen the white van in the neighborhood in the weeks leading up to the blast, often in front of the home where the explosion was centered.
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard was confident the person, or persons, responsible will be found.
“There is a search for truth, and there is a search for justice,” Ballard said.
The Indianapolis Star reports the owner of the home where the explosion originated, Monserrate Shirley, was at Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg with her boyfriend at the time of the blast. Her daughter was at a friend’s home. Shirley’s cat had been boarded.