INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Investigators said Tuesday that no arrests have been
made in connection with an Indianapolis house explosion that killed two
people and destroyed at least five homes, but that authorities were still
serving search warrants and questioning people.
Prosecutor Terry Curry told The Indianapolis Star on Tuesday that search
warrants had been executed and people were questioned, but he declined to
discuss who was questioned or where the warrants had been served.
Curry spokeswoman Brienne Delaney told The Associated Press on Tuesday
evening that no arrests had been made. “It’s still a fluid situation,” she
said. It isn’t clear how many people have been questioned.
The investigation into the Nov. 10 explosion is believed to be focusing on a
house occupied by Monserrate Shirley and her boyfriend, Mark Leonard. The
couple and Shirley’s 12-year-old daughter were away at the time of the
explosion, but the young couple next door died when their house was
Indianapolis Homeland Security Director Gary Coons said in a statement
released Tuesday night that investigators were still at work at the
blast-damaged neighborhood on Indianapolis’ south side.
“The investigation is still ongoing and we are still processing the scene.
No arrests have been made at this time,” his statement said.
Attorney Randall Cable said earlier Tuesday that Shirley and Leonard had
been cooperating with investigators and were “bewildered” by Curry’s
announcement Monday that the investigation was considered a criminal
City arson investigators and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and
Explosives concluded the blast was not an accident, Curry told the AP
earlier Tuesday. The case is classified as a criminal homicide investigation
because of the deaths of Jennifer and John Longworth.
Curry declined to discuss details of the investigation or the search
warrants, which he said would remain sealed until — or if — any criminal
charges are filed.
Officials have said they believe natural gas was involved in the explosion
and that they are focusing on appliances as the cause. The explosion caused
an estimated $4.4 million in damage.
Curry said investigators had considered homicide a possibility all along,
but it wasn’t until police and the ATF ruled out an accidental cause that it
became a criminal probe.
He declined to say whether investigators had any suspects or if there was
any physical evidence or possible motive that the blast had been
"In terms of any intent, I can’t speak to that,” Curry said.
Cable said in a statement that Shirley and Leonard have “cooperated fully”
with investigators and that they want the cause “of this horrific and
saddening tragedy to be determined.”
Fire Capt. Rita Burris said Tuesday that about 15 heavily damaged homes are
“on hold,” meaning that residents have limited access because of the
Once the on-scene work is complete, she said inspectors will have to
determine if those homes are safe enough to enter or if they must be
“That’s a two-fold, two-layer thing that these homeowners are going to have
to deal with,” Burris said.