BROWNSBURG, Ind. – Court documents released Tuesday are shedding new light on the brutal murder of a 74-year-old woman in her Brownsburg home.
Police say the body of Alice Wright was found by her adult daughter on Sunday, Jan. 7. She also discovered her father, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease and dementia, on the floor of the home in the 800 block of Stonehenge Way.
When officers entered the home later that morning, they found blood on the floor, walls and front door of the home, according to court documents. They also observed dishes with spaghetti and bread still on the couple’s kitchen table, which police said appeared to be their last meal before the murder.
Detectives believe 18-year-old Kiesha Summerhill, a former nurse’s aide for the victim’s husband, and her boyfriend, 19-year-old Arion Cruthird, entered through the couple’s unlocked front door on Friday, Jan. 5 and attacked them.
Summerhill and Cruthird, both of Indianapolis, were taken into custody on Friday, Jan. 12 after police reportedly received information from an acquaintance of the couple.
The informant told police that the couple had told her that they used a BB gun to threaten Wright to retrieve cash that was kept in a freezer, but Wright attempted to use a Life Alert-type system and Cruthird then began to beat her with his fists and kick her, according to court documents.
“Arion then allegedly grabbed a knife from the kitchen and began to stab Alice in the back of the neck/head in the living room,” police said in a probable cause affidavit.
Believing that Wright might recognize Summerhill, she allegedly told Cruthird that he needed to kill her so they could not be identified, court documents say. They were reportedly not concerned about her husband identifying them.
The informant told police that Cruthird then took Wright into a bedroom and stabbed her repeatedly in the back of the neck and head.
"According to (the informant), Arion claimed that he 'felt sorry' for Alice because he could feel the 'crushing' of her neck and “jugular.” Arion told (the informant) that Alice begged for her life and was losing consciousness," police said in the probable cause affidavit.
The couple allegedly told the informant that they were able to get away with $1,500 in cash and two guns from the home.
On autopsy performed on Jan. 8 showed that Wright had been deceased about 24 hours before she was found. It also revealed that she suffered about 13 stab wounds to the back of the head, neck, back and forehead, and 16 cutting wounds across her body. Her cause of death pending toxicology is multiple blunt and sharp force injuries complicating Hypertensive Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease.
After police were able to positively identify the suspects, they were taken into custody without incident in the 2300 block of LaSalle Street and charged with murder.
Summerhill was "said to be contracted through the Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Hospital of Indianapolis," court documents say.
The VA hospital issued the following statement, saying an investigation is being initiated:
All veterans grieve when a fellow veteran experiences a tragic loss. For a disabled veteran to be denied the love and comfort of his wife following a brutal home invasion is especially troubling.
The Richard L Roudebush VA Medical Center employed, through a provider agreement, a state licensed Home Care company to help the veteran and the family. We require all Home Care providers to hold Indiana state certification which includes licensing, training and insurance. This company is licensed by the state of Indiana and is current with state licensing requirements.
The young woman named in the INDY Star article was, until November of 2017, employed by this provider.
She is not now nor has she ever been an employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
At this time we are initiating an investigation into the welfare of veterans currently serviced by this provider. Should we find any cause for concern about the safety and welfare of the veteran, his home and family, we will address that concern immediately.
We join all veterans here in Indiana and across the country to honor the service of this veteran and offer our sincere condolences for his loss.
There is a Go Fund Me account set up to help the Wright family with ongoing medical expenses: https://www.gofundme.com/kerneys-ongoing-medical-care