Family members open up about girl’s gruesome murder

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

INDIANAPOLIS — Family members are telling Fox 59 more about a young woman who was already overcoming life’s challenges when she was raped and murdered on the east side of Indianapolis in March.

Shannon Kleeman, 21, was found dead in the basement of her stepmother’s home on March 28th.

This week, police arrested 51-year-old Morice Ervin, who lived next door, for rape and murder. Court paperwork revealed Ervin had spent time at the home and met Shannon on multiple occasions. Shannon herself told family members the night of her death that Ervin stopped by to see if anyone was home.

“I don’t understand how somebody could do something like that to her. It (doesn’t) make sense, it’s not okay,” Shannon’s sister, Brandy Kleeman, said.

Kleeman knew her sister better than anyone. They’d grown up together and dealt with the loss of both their parents together. Now she’s trying to grasp Shannon’s loss.

“I want to call her, I want to call her to be like, ‘Oh, Shannon, do you want to go somewhere,” … and then I have to stop and I have to realize, oh, she’s gone and I’m never going to see her again,” Kleeman said.

The details of what happened to Shannon are gruesome. She had been raped and shot in the head with a shotgun. DNA found on her came back a match to Ervin, according to court documents.

“Now that the arrest has occurred, it kind of opens up those new wounds,” her uncle Jamon Jack said.

Jack wants the public to know that, despite the spike in crime across Indianapolis and low police staffing, his family is grateful to IMPD detectives who expedited the case and solved it quickly.

“It made us feel that we were the only case they were working because they were so engaging, so we’re absolutely indebted to them for making this happen,” Jack said.

Ultimately, it is Shannon’s life and legacy that her sister is focused on now.

“She was just so sweet,” Kleeman said.

Kleeman said her sister was a girl who, despite her mental challenges and emotional state of a young child, graduated high school and cared for her younger family members. She can’t believe she’s been taken from a world where she showed such unconditional love.

“(She’d say), ‘Hi, sissy! I just want to say that I love you and I miss you and can’t wait to hang out this weekend.’ I’m not going to get those phone calls (any) more and that hurts,” Kleeman said.

Ervin is still awaiting an initial appearance in this case.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.