Person of interest named in deaths of five people in Indiana
Syed Shabbir , Jay Warren, Jay.Warren@wcpo.com , Contributor: Ian Preuth
12:35 PM, Sep 28, 2011
1:45 PM, Sep 29, 2011
BROOKVILLE, Ind. - A man arrested on a robbery charge Tuesday night is considered a person of interest in the slaying of five people in Indiana.
David Ison, 46, of Glenwood, Ind., was picked up by police on US 52 in Andersonville. He was wanted for an attempted robbery at Triplett's Drug Store in Osgood, Ind. on May 9, 2011.
Early in the murder investigation tips came to Franklin County Sheriff Kenneth Murphy that named Ison as someone to look at.
Sgt. Jerry Goodin with Indiana State Police said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon that authorities were able to match a DNA sample that linked Ison to the attempted robbery in which he displayed a gun.
Investigators became even more interested in Ison after the DNA evidence came back.
After Ison was taken into custody Tuesday evening authorities searched a Fayette County residence where Ison was staying and collected evidence.
Information gathered during Ison's arrest and the search of the residence led police to name Ison as their person of interest.
Ison is being held at the Ripley County Jail on an attempted robbery charge and will appear in court at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
Ison's father Earl Ison told 9 News he was shocked to hear that his son may be connected to the crime.
"It's devastating to the family," Earl said. "We don't understand it. We don't see how it can happen. There's a lot of rumors out, but we don't know what he's been charged with, but I do know that the family is tore up."
Through the turmoil, Earl met with one of the victims' brother, Robert White. The two men have been friends for years, and as they shared a hug they offered each other support.
"Me and my family have nothing against any of you," White said.
Earl says those words were a relief to hear, and he hopes the rest of the community would feel the same way.
"You take a heard of elephants. Can you judge the whole heard, if one bull goes rogue?" Earl said. "That's the way it is in a family. You cannot judge a family by one person. I hope the whole nation looks at it that way."
Currently, Ison is charged with the attempted robbery of a drug store in Osgood, Ind. He has not been charged in connection to the murders, but Goodin said authorities are "very confident" that residents of Franklin County can breath a little easier.
Goodin said this was the most "heinous crime" to ever happen in Franklin County and may be the worst in the history of Southeastern Indiana. He said authorities will do whatever it takes to apprehend those responsible.
Sheriff Murphy said investigators will continue to follow leads and interview witnesses.
The bodies of the five victims were discovered Sunday after a 4-year-old female relative was found walking by herself near the scene of the crime. A deputy arrived on the scene and spoke to neighbors in the area.
Officers then began a search of the area where the body of a dead male was found at the 24000 block of Stipps Hill Road. Four other bodies were found at an address across the road.
The victims are:
Angela Napier, 47 Jacob Napier, 18 Roy Napier, 50 Melissa Napier, 23 Henry Smith, 43
Teresa Richardson, a relative of the Napiers said the family had been involved with drugs and thinks their deaths were a "drug deal gone bad."
Indiana State Police said during a news conference Tuesday evening that the suspect was not among the deceased and that residents should remain vigilant and lock their homes and vehicles.
On Thursday, Goodin said investigators won't stop until they know they have found everyone who was involved in the slaying about 50 miles southeast of Indianapolis.
Police are asking anyone with information to call police at (812)689-5000 or 911 immediately.