Indianapolis News and Headlines


Family struggles with arrest, then release, of suspect in Candice Pigee murder

Posted at 2:19 PM, Jun 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-23 23:48:28-04

INDIANAPOLIS  For a moment in May, the family of Candice Pigee thought they had justice for her murder.

The 24-year-old mother of seven was found lying dead outside a home in the 800 block of North Rural Street on February 24. She had a single bullet wound to her head.

Crime scene investigators found a spent 9mm Lugar bullet casing on the ground near Pigee’s body. A woman leaving her house to take her daughter to school discovered Pigee’s body and called 911, but said she didn’t see the shooting.

Candice Pigee, 24

Police didn’t have a witness until nearly a month later, when, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Marion County, they arrested someone on unrelated charges who said she had information about the murder.

PREVIOUS | Mother of homicide victim: ‘It doesn’t seem real’

The witness told police someone she knew as “Little Nephew” had put out an APB on Pigee because he blamed her for one of the houses he was dealing drugs out of on Rural Street getting busted in December, according to the affidavit.

“It was just like it was territorial about his other house getting busted,” the witness reportedly told police.

The witness also said Little Nephew and another man she knew as “Shrek” were drinking when they decided to find Candice. They located her a short time later and, after exchanging brief words, Little Nephew reportedly told Shred to kill Candice.

The witness told police Shrek then shot Candice one time.

Through the course of the investigation, police determined Little Nephew’s real name was Antuan Cooper.

PREVIOUS | Arrest made in connection with murder of young mother of seven

Cooper, 30, was arrested on May 25 on a charge of murder in connection with Pigee’s death.

Antuan Cooper, 30

In the year before she died, Pigee had given birth to her seventh child, Candin Wills. The baby’s father, 59-year-old Andre Wills, attended Cooper’s first court appearance.

“I felt good,” Wills said. “I rejoiced that they caught him Because she’s got seven kids. She just had one. For this to happen on her birthday … it was her birthday, for God’s sakes. It ain’t right.”

Wills’ rejoicing wouldn’t last long, though.

Two weeks after his arrest, Cooper was out of jail after prosecutors, citing evidentiary issues, dropped the murder charge against him.

PREVIOUS | Murder charges dropped in death of Candice Pigee

Wills said he was dumfounded when he heard Cooper had been released.

“They’re still saying it was somebody else with him, but we haven’t found out who that second person is,” Wills said. “For them to just let him out, nah, that’s not right. We still need to find something. Something is wrong.”

Wills said Pigee had just moved into a smaller residence on his property, and was planning on moving into his house the followed week.

“But it didn’t happen,” he said. “They killed her.”

Now Wills, who has five other children of his own, is left to raise their 1-year-old son Candin.

Candin Wills, 1

“I’m talking to him about his momma as he grows up now. As she was,” Wills said. “That’s all you can tell them: How their momma was and that she loved them. That’s it.”

Wills says he takes Candin to visit his half-brothers and half-sisters – Pigee’s other children.

The older ones understand what happened to their mom, he says. The younger ones can’t yet comprehend it.

“Seven kids, man. Seven kids. And they ain’t got a momma,” Wills said.

Wills said he and Pigee’s family need to see the case resolved so they can begin to move on. But her loss, he said, will still be felt.

“They don’t know what they took,” he said. “They really don’t know what they’ve done.”

IMPD says the case remains active and detectives continue to seek anyone with additional information. If you have information in the case, they ask you to contact IMPD’s Homicide Office at 317-327-3475 or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS. Your call may remain anonymous.

MORE FROM THE CRIME BEAT | Arrest made in 8-year-old Indianapolis cold case | Homicide victims rarely become organ donors. Scott Morin was one of the few | Greenwood man 'set up' for 2-year-old's false kidnapping a day before her guardianship hearing | At least 13 people overdosed in Indianapolis on Monday. It was an average day | Homicide Map so far in 2017


Jordan Fischer is the senior digital reporter for WRTV covering crime and justice. Send news tips to and follow him on Facebook or on Twitter at @Jordan_RTV6.