Siblings carry on brother’s legacy through vintage sportswear business

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A group of New Palestine siblings are working to carry on their older brother's legacy after he was killed in September. They're combining two things they say Andrew Schwier was passionate about, his faith and his vintage sportswear business.

"It's just been great to just kind of do the same thing he did and now we really know why he loved doing it so much," said 13-year-old Ezra Schwier.

The 26-year old  was shot in September on Indianapolis' far-east side. He left behind memories of his faith, love for sports and his dream business, Vintage 317. Now, his teen siblings are keeping the business alive and their brother's memories with it.

"Every time we post a picture we think of him just wonder how he would look at it and it's just awesome because we get to see what he loved and how he loved doing it," said 18-year-old Lilly Schwier.

The teens say they enjoyed spending time with their older brother, watching how he ran his business and going to sporting events with him.

"He didn't know, we didn't know we would eventually be carrying this on. But I think it was all part of God's plan for us to go to his house and watch him do it and experience that and then now us we're running it," said 16-year-old Tucker Schwier. "I don't think we'll ever be as good as he was at it but we're definitely enjoying it."

While the teens work to sell more vintage sports gear, police are working to solve the case. Schwier's is one of dozens from 2017 on detectives' desks.

"Approximately 60 percent of our cases that occurred in 2017 are unsolved right now but we've already solved seven cases this year that occurred in 2017," IMPD Deputy Chief Chris Bailey said. "And we're hopeful that we're gonna bring a few more to that point very soon."

Bailey said including this year's cases and ones from previous years that are solved this year, they're hovering around a 60 percent clearance rate. In many cases he said they either have no eye witness or there's no physical evidence to link a person to a crime. Right now, he said police are working with City County Council and other agencies on a witness assistance program to help provide at least temporary safety measures.

"We really need people to have the moral courage like we've seen in the past to step forward and say what they saw and be willing to be a witness but we have to be able to keep them safe too so we have an obligation to them as well and we're working on that," Bailey said.

Bailey also said a think tank out of Washington, D.C. that deals with police issues and the Bureau of Justice Assistance will be in next week for an assessment of how police handle homicide cases. He said the assessment will look at their process, from when dispatchers receive a call to how cases are assigned, through the coroner and prosecutor's offices. In a few months, they'll get suggestions back.

"We're one of only three cities selected for that kind of review and it's something we did proactively in order to try to bring our clearance rates up," Bailey said.

Meanwhile at Vintage 317, Schwier's siblings are taking another step they think their brother would be proud of. They're using part of the proceeds to fund a mission trip to Mexico.

"I am so blessed that I can be doing this and thankful that God has allowed us to keep running his business and keep his legacy alive," Lilly Schwier said.

If you have any information about this case or others, call Crime Stoppers at 262-TIPS.

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