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
Family to continue search for missing baby
The family of a missing infant says they plan to organize their own search effort after police searches drew to a close Saturday.
Steak 'n Shake lawsuit can continue, court rules
A federal appeals court ruled this week that franchisees can continue their lawsuit against restaurant chain Steak 'n Shake.
'Ice bucket challenge' personal for Indy leader
Donations to the ALS Association as part of the "Ice Bucket Challenge" have now topped $100 million – and for one local Indianapolis leader,…
2 injured in SUV, car crash near Crown Hill
Two people were injured in a two-vehicle crash on the city's northwest side early Saturday.
1 dead, 1 hospitalized after 2-vehicle crash
One person was killed and another person was seriously injured after a two-vehicle crash in Madison County late Friday, police said.
Bench dedicated to Franklin drowning victims
For years to come, football fans at Franklin Community High School will see a permanent reminder of the two students who drowned trying to…