INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis police investigators said Friday they’ve identified a suspect in the killing of Amanda Blackburn, the pastor’s wife who was shot to death during a robbery at their home on the northwest side.
Blackburn, who was 12 weeks pregnant, was at home with her 1-year-old after her husband, Davey, went to the gym shortly after 6 a.m. Tuesday.
Crime scene investigator Captain Craig Converse said Blackburn’s murder is linked to a robbery a short time earlier two doors down from the Blackburn’s home. They said there was no sign that anyone had forced their way into the Blackburn’s home.
“We know who killed her, at least we have a picture of him, we don’t know the name. This person was seen by a number of people on the street, and our timeline’s in place that puts him there,” Converse said.
Authorities declined to release a photo of the suspect Friday morning, but described him as a black male with a light to medium complexion, of slim to medium build, between 5’ 4” and 5’ 9” tall. He was wearing light-colored pants and a hoodie, which he had pulled tight to his face.
Neighbors also reported a dark-colored SUV driving quickly through the neighborhood Tuesday morning.
Chief Rick Hite called the Friday morning press conference to discuss law enforcement efforts to fight violent crime and highlight cooperation between state and local authorities, but it was clear that the Blackburn case was troubling them all. It was a random crime in a neighborhood that, in the words of IMPD Captain Mike Elder, “wasn’t on our radar.”
The Blackburn’s neighbors have been very helpful in the investigation, authorities said, but they stressed that others who might know about the crime need to come forward.
Maj. Eric Hench, IMPD’s assistant commander of investigations, urged anyone with information about the crime to come forward, and he warned the suspect:
“You’re not as good as you think you are. You left behind evidence. We will find it, we have found it. And we will not stop until we get you,” Hench said.
And Rev. Charles Harrison of the Ten Point Coalition, appealed to pastors and community leaders to do more to build trust between police and residents.
“We have to address the code of silence in our streets, where people who know what has happened are not talking to the law-enforcement community because they’re calling it ‘snitching’,” Harrison said.