LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ind. - Three teenagers are accused of robbing and killing a Heltonville man who was only trying to offer them assistance, police said.
Rodney Allender, 43, was described by friends and family as a man who would help anyone. He was laid to rest Thursday and his family now wants justice.
Taylor Flynn, 19, Austin Curtis, 18, and Dillon Hicks, 16, were all arrested on charges of murder and robbery for their alleged involvement in the Feb. 27 killing.
The ages of the suspects and the details of the attack have shocked the community.
"You hear about stuff up in Indianapolis, but you don't hear about that down here and … I'm glad you guys are covering it now," the victim’s first cousin Joe Allender said.
Curtis told police that the group cased Allender’s house, which sits alone in a rural part of the county. He told police that Flynn dressed up as a girl, walked to the door and asked to use Allender’s phone. Curtis and Hicks waited nearby with masks on, documents said.
"He'd been in bed, he was asleep, he was half awake. Rodney would open his door to anybody," Joe Allender said.
When Allender opened the door, Curtis told police that Flynn shot Allender in the leg. The group tased him, beat him with a bat and tied him up, demanding the combination to his safe, documents said.
Allender eventually gave up the combination to the safe that held guns and money, but officials said Allender’s 21-year-old son found his father’s body a short time later, still tied up on the garage floor.
Family members said Allender's son is beside himself and really hurting after finding his father dead.
Court documents said Hicks reportedly told friends about the crime at Bedford North Lawrence High School the next day.
"It's sad that three young men would make a wrong decision of sorts and then go to school and brag about it," the victim’s friend Nathaniel McVey said.
Curtis was arrested Saturday and has already pleaded not guilty to murder and robbery charges.
Flynn and Hicks were arrested in Ohio after a car chase and are awaiting extradition to Indiana.