INDIANAPOLIS (November 23, 2015) – Neighbors on Sunnyfield Court on the city's northwest side felt a sense of relief Monday after IMPD made two arrests associated with the Amanda Blackburn murder.
“There is a sense of closure with an arrest being made," Ryan McConnell, The Woods of North Kessler's Neighborhood Crime Watch leader, said. "Honestly everybody’s heart was touched by this, because it is such a senseless thing."
The crime watch was very active with IMPD's investigation providing surveillance footage of a suspect, posting flyers around town with information about the attack and providing witness accounts.
"There was a lot of progress made through the community speaking out about what they saw, what they heard and what evidence they had gained through things like cameras," McConnell said.
Kurt Baker was the man who provided the police with the surveillance footage and said the arrest relieved a lot of stress among neighbors.
“I’m just very excited about it and I think that was just one nice way of saying Happy Thanksgiving," Baker said. "I think probably in the 25 years I’ve been here I’ve learned more about my neighbors the last few weeks than before that."
Baker said he believes more neighbors will add security cameras and the crime watch will continue to expand.
“It was inspiring for us too to keep that going because we saw people in the community that cared so much about this," McConnell said. "I think everybody understands the importance of the community coming together to prevent crimes like this happening in the future."
McConnell said this tragedy has helped him create relationships with other neighborhood watch leaders.
“What we really want to do is form a coalition," he said.
McConnell said he hopes to can relay what he's learned to other neighborhood crime watches to make the entire area safer.
“The code of silence has to be broken, because I think this story can be replicated over and over again and thus prevent crime," McConnell said. "We need to make criminals afraid of committing crimes because they know they are going to get caught.”