Indianapolis police have made an arrest in connection with the murder of Amanda Blackburn, the pregnant wife of a popular pastor, whose Nov. 10 death captured national attention for its mystery and grisly details. Police announced Monday morning they have arrested 18-year-old Larry Taylor on a preliminary charge of murder. Two other men are considered suspects and are being held by police on parole violations, the Indianapolis Star reported.
Amanda Blackburn, 28, was the mother of a young boy and was 12 weeks pregnant with what she and her husband, Davey Blackburn, were “sure” was a girl, NBC News reported. The couple had moved to Indianapolis in January 2012 to found Resonate Church, which was meant to be “a life-giving church that would connect with people who normally wouldn’t go to church,” a statement on Resonate’s website said.
— FOX59 News (@FOX59) November 23, 2015
Amanda Blackburn was killed Nov. 10 when an armed intruder entered the couple’s home, presumably believing it to be empty after Davey Blackburn left for the gym around 6:10 a.m. local time. Investigators said the intruder raped Amanda Blackburn while her 15-month-old son lay in his crib upstairs, then shot her in the head. Davey Blackburn returned to the house two hours later to find his wife critically wounded and the couple’s son unharmed. She died in hospital two days afterward.
In a statement Monday, the Blackburns said they were relieved at the news of the arrest and hoped-for three outcomes over the following weeks and months: that the court system prosecute the man wisely, that he become “truly sorry” for his actions and “even begin to experience the life-transforming power of the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ,” and that the family begin to forgive.
“Though everything inside me wants to hate, be angry and slip into despair, I choose the route of forgiveness, grace and hope,” Davey Blackburn said in the statement. “Today I am deciding to love, not hate. Today I am deciding to extend forgiveness, not bitterness. Today I am deciding to hope, not despair.”
— IndyStar (@indystar) November 23, 2015
The murder captivated national attention for its apparent randomness and mystery surrounding the perpetrator — police released grainy footage of a young man near the Blackburns’ home shortly after the murder, but there seemed to be no leads on the case for more than a week.
“We are thankful to our federal, state and local partnerships that aided in the apprehension of the suspect in this terrible and senseless crime,” Indianapolis Police Chief Rick Hite said in a statement Monday.