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IMPD hosts conversation for families on homicide investigations

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Posted at 6:32 PM, Mar 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-25 23:38:57-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Duane Spells knows what happens after a homicide all too well. His son 24-year-old Shane Spells was shot and killed while sitting in his own driveway in September 2019.

A year and a half later, his killer still hasn't been found.

"I'm just going to keep it real Cameron, it's been 19 months on the first of next month and we haven't received anything," Duane said.

As time passes since the day Shane was killed his father says the pain and unanswered questions standing in his son's void doesn't make life any easier.

"These homicides, these individuals, you don't understand it until it happens to you. Until it touches home," Duane said.

Duane said he understands police have their hands full investigating a record number of homicide cases. He believes that workload causes families like his too often feel left behind.

"If we don't call a detective nobody is going to call us and tell us we're working on your case, we ain't found nothing, we need some help," Duane said. "Maybe I don't understand the process of what they go through or what they have to do to get these cases solved."

Explaining the process of homicides investigations was the goal of a virtual community conversation hosted by IMPD. It's part of the city's continued community-focused response to violent crime.

Homicide Branch Commander Roger Spurgeon says concerns like those of Duane are echoed often.

"The number one complaint the homicide branch historically has received is a perceived lack of communication from detectives, or lead detectives on the case," Spurgeon said.

Spurgeon urges families to keep calling their detective, while also making sure their contact information is up to date. If that doesn't work Spurgeons wants families to contact him directly.

Duane, who has never stopped trying, said he'll do whatever he has to do to get closure for his family and justice for his son.

"Somebody knows something. Somebody knows something. Say something, please and help us put closure to this case," Duane said.

If you have any information about the death of Shane Spells his family asks you to call IMPD or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.