SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

November 19, 2012

Ind. home explosion now a homicide investigation

(Continued)

“It’s kind of scary that someone might set off a gas explosion,” he added. “It’s really scary.”

Hundreds of people attended the funerals earlier yesterday 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, while her husband, an electronics expert, was known as a gardener and nature lover.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, who spoke at the news conference, said he went to the Longworths’ funeral and had a hard time coming to peace with what had happened.

“There is a search for truth and there is a search for justice,” Ballard said.

The couple lived next door to the house where investigators are focusing. The co-owner of that house, John Shirley, told The Associated Press he had recently received a text message from his daughter saying the furnace in the home had gone out.

Shirley’s ex-wife, Monserrate Shirley, said her boyfriend, Mark Leonard, had replaced the thermostat recently and the furnace had resumed working.

She and her boyfriend were away at a casino at the time of the blast. The daughter was staying with a friend, and the family’s cat was being boarded.

Monserrate Shirley’s attorney, Randall Cable, declined comment last night.

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