INDIANAPOLIS - The family of Shannon Kleeman said Morice Ervin took her life, and they believe that his should pay with his own.
Kleeman, 21 at the time of her death, persevered through the challenges in her young life until it was suddenly and violently stolen from her on the evening of March 27.
"To shoot somebody in the head, we couldn't even have an open casket. So we couldn't look down on her beautiful face and say goodbye," Shannon’s stepmother, Jenny Kleeman, said.
Officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department arrested 51-year old Ervin on charges of rape and murder after investigators said that DNA evidence recovered from the victim's body linked him to the crime.
Ervin lived next door to Shannon's stepmother where he mowed the yard, shoveled snow and did odd jobs.
"Who would think that somebody that's 50-some years old would be such a monster," Kleeman said.
Family members, neighbors and even Ervin's own wife discovered Shannon's partially clad body on the afternoon of March 28 in the basement of the home in the 600 block of Linwood Avenue.
The brutality of the crime scene shocked even veteran homicide detectives. Police said Shannon was house sitting at the residence while her disabled mother was hospitalized.
Police said Ervin went to the home the night before, assaulted the young woman, then shot her multiple times with a shotgun and then went back home. Ervin allegedly told police that he was home all night with his wife.
"He had to rape and shoot my daughter and carry his (expletive) home next door and crawl in bed next to his wife for a (expletive) alibi. I'm sorry," Kleeman said.
Ervin was being held without bond at the Marion County Jail. He is scheduled to appear in court early next week.
Follow Jack Rinehart on Twitter: @jackrinehart6
Indianapolis records no 90-degree days in August
Barring unlikely weather from the last few hours of August, Indianapolis will hit a milestone only seen a few times in the last 30 years.
Columbus looks for suspects in 30-year-old case
Exactly 30 years after a man's death, police are asking for any help in finding somebody responsible.
KS statistician suing state to get voting record
This week, Secretary of State Kris Kobach asked a judge to block that request.
Carmel launches vacation checks for home safety
Vacation season is almost over, but the city of Carmel has created a new way for residents to feel safer when taking some time off.
Former Colts linebacker's rape trial to begin
The trial for a former Colts linebacker accused of rape is set to begin Monday.