Indiana Pastor's Wife Slain in Home Robbery
INDIANAPOLIS - Friends and family of Amanda Blackburn gathered at Resonate Church at a memorial Sunday evening.
Blackburn, a pastor's wife who was 13 weeks pregnant, was killed when a male suspect broke into their home. Her friends and family are encouraged to share short stories about how Amanda impacted their lives here.
Investigators believe home surveillance cameras captured images of the suspect after he burglarized a nearby home, police said.
Detectives are asking the public to help them identify the suspect. The video shows a black male, wearing a hoodie, with a medium to light-brown complexion, slim to medium build and between 5-foot-4 and 5-foot-9, City police Capt. Craig Converse said.
"We know who killed her. At least we have a picture of him, but we don't know the name," he said.
Earlier in the day, Blackburn's husband, Pastor Davy Blackburn, announced that he will hold church services this Sunday.
On his Facebook page, Blackburn thanked the members of Resonate Church for their love and support and said there would be a special service remembering his wife on Sunday night.
"We are going to have church this Sunday, just like we always do. In addition to meeting together at our normal service times, we are going to focus on celebrating Amanda's life later Sunday afternoon. Please join me at Traders Point Christian Church at 5:00pm. We are going to worship, share the gospel through sharing Amanda's story, laugh together and cry together," he wrote.
The pastor also called on church members to bring their friends and neighbors to the service.
Her heart would be that you invite as many people as possible to this celebration service that do not know the Lord. Amanda's story has attracted national news. I know that Jesus is going to make good come from this, so in the event someone from the media tries to speak with you, simply respond by asking everyone to join us in prayer for my family. You can let them know that we have extremely heavy hearts and although we are hurting tremendously, we are still hoping and believing that great things are still yet to come," he wrote.
Amanda Blackburn, 28, was shot in the head during the attack Tuesday morning and died the next day. She was 13 weeks pregnant, and the child did not survive, family spokeswoman Suzanne Swift said. The Blackburns also have a 15-month-old son, who Converse said was upstairs in a crib at the time of the attack.
Investigators believe the suspect, whom neighbors also reported seeing walking in the area, may have seen Blackburn's husband, leave home about 6:10 a.m. Tuesday to go to a gym. That was shortly after the suspect allegedly burglarized a nearby house.
Davey Blackburn discovered his wounded wife when he returned home about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, police said.
At least three security cameras at other homes - including one inside the burglarized home - captured images of the suspect in what is a normally quiet neighborhood on the city's northwest side near the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
Maj. Eric Hench said police planned to release an image of the suspect.
A neighbor heard possible gunshots between 6:45 a.m. and 6:55 a.m. Tuesday and home security video shows a dark SUV speeding from the neighborhood, Hench said. Because "sizeable" televisions and a laptop were taken from the burglarized house, he said investigators believe those items "were likely loaded into a vehicle," suggesting that others might have been involved.
But, Hench said, it's unclear if the SUV seen in video footage is connected to the crimes.
Hench also said the suspect had left evidence behind and issued a statement directed at that person.
"You're not as good as you think you are. You left behind evidence, we have found it and we will find you and we will not stop until we get you," he said.
Amanda and Davey Blackburn moved from South Carolina to found the independent Resonate Church in 2012. Both are children of pastors.
The Rev. Charles Harrison, the leader of a black ministers group called the Ten Point Coalition that works to fight crime in Indianapolis, urged the public Friday to come forward with any information on Amanda Blackburn's killing. He said residents need to overcome the "code of silence" that prevents some from approaching law enforcement with tips.
Source: The Associated Press and CBN News.