Indianapolis, IN — Authorities have launched a homicide investigation following the explosion that killed two people. The blast destroyed multiple homes, but originated in one home. Officials believe natural gas to be the cause of the explosion. The victims are the couple who lived next door. Over $4 million of damages occurred because of the blast.
Officials have now declared the blast a possible homicide, and are investigation as such, focusing their efforts on information regarding a white van seen in the neighborhood the day of the blast.
So far, there have been no arrests.
Indianapolis Homeland Security Director Gary Coons made the announcement after meeting with residents of the neighborhood where the blast took place on November 10.
“We are turning this into a criminal homicide investigation,” Coons said. His is the first remark that implied the case as criminal.
Authorities are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the white van. Curry said the investigation is aimed at “determining if there are individuals who may be responsible for this explosion and fire.” There are no known suspects, and no arrests have been made.
Hundreds of people attended the funerals earlier Monday for the couple killed in the explosion, 34-year-old John Dion Longworth and 36-year-old Jennifer Longworth. She was a teacher “remembered for knitting gifts for her students.” Her husband, an electronics expert, was known as a gardener and outdoors man.
“There is a search for truth and there is a search for justice,” Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said.
The Longworths were asleep in the home next to the epicenter of the explosion, which belongs to a woman named Monserrate Shirley. Shirley told police that her furnace was working properly at the time of the explosion, although her ex-husband has stated otherwise. Shirley and her live-in boyfriend were out of town at a casino when the explosion occurred. Her daughter was staying at a friend’s house, and their cat was at a local kennel. No one was in there home when the explosion happened.
Shirley’s boyfriend has a criminal record, consisting of arrests for several felonies like intimidation, stalking, dealing marijuana and possession of a narcotic.