Couple who lived in home that exploded bewildered by homicide investigation, attorney says

Couple ask to be left alone

INDIANAPOLIS - The couple who lived in the home at the center of the deadly explosion on Indianapolis' south side was bewildered to learn that police are now investigating the case as a homicide , their attorney said.

Officials confirmed Monday night that they believe the Nov. 10 blast that killed two people and leveled several homes in the Richmond Hill subdivision was intentionally set.

Special Section: Indy Explosion

Monserrate Shirley and her boyfriend, Mark Leonard, lived in the home that exploded at 8349 FieldFare Way, along with Shirley's 12-year-old daughter. The couple was visiting a Lawrenceburg casino at the time of the blast.

In a statement released early Tuesday, the couple's attorney, Randall Cable, stressed that his clients have been cooperating with investigators.

"The two remain horrified at the tragic events, destruction and loss of lives that occurred and have been cooperating with the authorities since their return to Indianapolis over the weekend," the statement read. "They have cooperated fully with various investigators and agencies on multiple occasions and have answered each and every question, including speculation as to whether they may have been targeted by anyone."

Investigators have asked for information about a white van seen in the neighborhood before the blast, which a source told RTV6 had been impounded at a south side motel called the Cavalier's Resort, near Thompson Road and U.S. 31, a few days after the explosion.

RTV6 confirmed that Leonard worked as grounds and security manager at the facility.

Cable said his clients are eager to learn what happened in the explosion, and implored the media and the public to leave the couple alone.

"The speculation of social media has centered on various aspects of their lives, targeting them in the investigation," the statement read. "Throughout the days since that night, the two have been pursued by media constantly requesting interviews as to how they are doing and how they feel. Assumptions by everyone have had a field day at their expense."

Leonard and Shirley's neighbors, John and Jennifer Longworth, were killed in the blast. Their funeral was held Monday.

Print this article Back to Top