AURORA, Ind. - Ryan Siebe wore a somber expression Wednesday as he collected the mail outside a brick duplex on Aspen Ridge Drive in Aurora.
One unit was where his mother, Leigh Jennings, 67, was murdered last week, and the other is the home of his ill grandmother.
“It’s been really tough on our family,” he said. “My mother was well-loved and she was a special influence on all of us. We’re doing the best we can under the circumstances.”
The Walton man that authorities have called a “person-of-interest” in the case remains in protective custody at St. Elizabeth Health Care in Florence.
The man is a nephew of the slain Florence couple, Bill and Peggy Stephenson. Police say he reportedly tried to take his own life on Monday at his apartment on Old Stephenson Mill Road.
He could be released on Thursday to possibly face charges in the case. Sources say major developments may occur by the end of the week.
There is still no word whether the “person-of-interest” is under investigation for the May, 2011, slayings of the Stephensons.
All that mattered to Siebe on Wednesday was tending to a small memorial that had been placed on the front porch of his mother’s house.
“She was a very caring person. She helped a lot of people. She helped a lot of younger people. People with problems,” he said. “She was a very spiritual woman – loved by just about everyone that ever knew her.”
Siebe added, “The world needs more people like her. The woman never did anything to anyone that I’m even aware of in my life. This makes no sense.”
Jennings cut hair for 10 years at Young’s Barber Shop in Florence and Siebe said that’s where he believes the “person-of-interest” likely met his mother.
Beyond that, he added he’s never met the man and believes his mother considered him a friend.
Elsmere resident Charlie Craddock had Jennings cut his hair every time he visited the Florence facility.
“She was a very sweet person. Very nice,” he said. “I developed a friendship with her over the years. It was not just client-customer. It was a friendship.”
Craddock added, “I will miss her and hope whoever did it justice is done.”
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