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 teen inspired to help homeless
A Ben Davis High School student hit the streets of Indianapolis on Wednesday, hoping to help the city's homeless as they brace for winter.
Experts warn against kids using pellet guns
As new details emerged about the moments before Cleveland police fatally shot a 12-year-old boy playing with an airsoft gun, local experts…
Fire chief: North Vernon fire intentionally set
A massive fire in a southern Indiana city that swept through a row of century-old buildings, causing two to collapse, was intentionally set,…
Judge allows Indianapolis park deer hunt
The controversial plan to hunt deer this weekend in Eagle Creek Park will go forward, a judge ruled Wednesday evening.
Firefighters share meals at family-style tables
Although local firefighters will be working on Thanksgiving, they will still give thanks while gathering around the table together.
Applications open for pre-K pilot
Child advocates want to get the word out to low-income families that the Office of Early Education and Out-of-School learning is now…