FBI helping in search for Indy woman’s killer

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- There is now new information about the murder of Jessie Whitehouse, as FOX59 News has learned the FBI is assisting with the search for her killer.

The 30-year-old woman was found dead inside her near-north side home last November. Since then, IMPD has been working to find her killer, but no arrest has been made.

Her step-father, Virgil Vandagriff, a retired Marion County Sheriff’s Office homicide detective and private investigator, is now working the case on his own.

Jessie’s mother, Anna Whitehouse, who is Vandagriff’s wife, said there’s no other way to explain how these past ten months have felt than to say it has been a nightmare.

“Why would someone do this” wonders Anna Whitehouse every day.

As an investigator, solving a case is in Vandagriff’s blood, even though he admits IMPD detectives asked him at the beginning not to get involved on his own.

“Sitting back and trying to keep that promise that we, or I, were not going to get involved directly in the investigation is very, very difficult,” said Vandagriff,  “it didn’t upset me that they asked me to keep my nose out of it; however, I didn’t see any problem sharing information.”

Vandagriff said he and his wife have begun working the case independently and discovered clues on their own. He won’t say what, but said IMPD has so far not looked at the evidence he’s brought them.

Anna has her own frustrations.

“There’s no doubt in my mind, I have total faith in IMPD, that they will use whatever they can, that they have done what they could,” said Anna, “but I don’t think they’ve done it in a timely fashion, and I think that’s a real problem.”

IMPD declined Fox59’s request for an on-camera interview, but the department’s Deputy Chief Christopher Bailey did send us a statement, which reads:

The murder of Jessie Whitehouse is an active investigation.  We continue to follow leads and work with other law enforcement agencies to help bring some closure to the family.  This case, just like all the others requires information and cooperation from the public.   We encourage anyone with information that can help solve Jessie's case or any murder to come forward and do the right thing.  The victims and the families left behind deserve nothing less.

IMPD did confirm the FBI is helping with the case, but wouldn’t say how, offering that some investigative techniques have to remain confidential. And while that’s an important step, Anna and Vandagriff said it is not nearly as important as someone speaking up.

“Constantly, my heart is constantly talking to anyone that knows, begging them to please come forward,” said Anna.

If you have any information on the case, you’re asked to call Crime Stoppers at 317-622-TIPS or IMPD, and you can remain anonymous. Virgil Vandagriff has also set up his own email address for tips at jessiewhitehouse@earthlink.net and there remains at $10,000 reward available from her family for any information leading to an arrest and conviction.