Richmond Hill neighbors begin healing process

Community gathers and lights candles

INDIANAPOLIS - Residents in the Richmond Hill neighborhood are hoping to begin the healing process now that three suspects are in custody and have been charged in connection with the deadly explosion.

Many neighbors gathered Saturday evening with hundreds of white bags filled with dirt and candles lining the street.

Special Section: Indy Explosion

The candles represent different things for different people.

“It’s a sense of peace. We’ve all been through so much,” said resident Theresa Carmichael. “Yesterday was a lot of mixed emotions for everybody.”

When the candles are lit, residents will walk through the neighborhood together to promote healing and a sense of unbroken community.

Neighbor Vickie Koerner lost her home in the aftermath.

For her, the community walk through the damaged streets is about moving on and forgiveness.

"Going through something that all of us have been through in this neighborhood just makes you step back and put life into perspective, and it makes you just want to be closer to your family and to hold your kids tight," Carmichael said.

Neighbors view the gathering as a way to connect and take a positive step forward.

The community says John and Jennifer Longworth, who passed away in the explosion, are not far from their hearts.

As a token of remembrance, some of the bags contain dirt taken from the Longworth’s property.

Monserrate Shirley, Mark Leonard and Robert Leonard were charged Friday with 48 felony counts, including murder and arson, in the Nov. 10 explosion.

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