Prayer vigil held to remember Guerra family

INDIANAPOLIS - Police arrested a man who they said stole an SUV from a family that died in a house fire over the weekend.

Officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department found the stolen Guerra-family vehicle earlier Wednesday afternoon. Someone had broken into their boarded-up home to find the keys to the vehicle, officials said.

Police said a family friend saw the car near 32nd and Station streets and alerted police.

Jeremy Akins, 29, was arrested on charges of vehicle theft and operating a vehicle never having received a license. Shadrick Shears, 18, was arrested on a charge of joyriding, police said.

The arrest came on the same night that dozens of friends and family gathered to honor the lives of the family of six that died in a house fire on Olney Street Saturday morning.

Mayor Greg Ballard attended the prayer vigil that was led by pastors from the Latino community. Those in attendance hugged and consoled each other.

"It's devastating for the family and when you do it alone, it's hard. So you know, I called a few pastors and said hey, we gotta show them they're not alone we need one another," pastor Gerson Cardona said.

The surviving family members said they have found strength through all of the lives that were saved thanks to organ donations .

"Not to go into the whole list but with Fuentes, his heart was transplanted into a 4-year-old that needed a heart, and that is, you know, it'll always be a loss, they will always be in our heart, but to know that that child is now living," Sandra Lopez, Leo Guerra’s sister, said.

Lopez said her family is grieving terribly, but knowing the organ donations have helped others is what is keeping them going.

Follow Drew Smith on Twitter: @drewsmith1

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