IMPD detectives continue to search for Indianapolis mother’s killer


Nerva Singleton

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Mar. 15, 2016)-- Metro homicide detectives are making progress in the search for the killer of Nerva Singleton, 40, on the front porch of her house in the 5600 block of Dobbs Ferry Drive early Monday morning.

“It's an active investigation,” said IMPD Assistant Chief Randall Taylor. “I think the detectives are getting some good information and pieces are starting to fall into place. I think that at some point, hopefully in the not too distant future, we’ll actually have a suspect and I know we have information on some. I don’t think we’re ready to release that yet. I think we’ll get some closure to that relatively soon.”

Singleton was the mother of five children, ages three to 23, and the grandmother of one with another on the way.

She was shot to death at 3:30 a.m. while returning to her home on the city’s northwest side.

“There’s gonna be a lot of people who miss her,” said Singleton’s cousin, Ilisha Hood.

Singleton’s family said she was loved and was often described as, “the life of the party.”

Investigators are tracking Singleton’s travels Sunday night which included a stop at The Point at East 34th Street and Arlington Avenue in the hours before the killing.

“I believe she was out at a club of some sort at least at one point but I’m not sure actually what time she left there and what time she arrived home,” said Taylor. “You don’t know what’s going on between then. Right now it's just kind of open or if someone had it in for her or if something happened between where she left and where she got home, road rage or something like that, we just don’t really know at this time.”

Investigators hope that by pinning down Singleton’s location which included attendance at the far eastside club to following her route home to near the intersection of West 56th Street and Moller Road they may find witnesses, surveillance video or other clues in her death.

Singleton’s murder and the investigation of her killing inevitably will call up comparisons with the slaying of another mother last fall.

Amanda Blackburn was executed in her home as her young child slept nearby November 10.

Investigators discovered a trio of suspects left a wide trail of clues all across the northside in a killing that not only generated public outrage but also a steady stream of tips.

During that investigation, then-IMPD Chief Rick Hite held a press conference to express his frustration with the killing and the difficulty of the investigation.

Officials from the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office stood by Hite’s side at his invitation even though no federal crime had been committed.

Taylor said while both cases bear similarities in their victims, the investigations, the tips and responses are unique.

“It's like a card game,” said Taylor, who assumed his position January 1. “You’re given a set of cards. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, but they’re your cards, so you gotta play ‘em, and every investigation is different, so whatever evidence we have, whether it’s a lot or a little, that’s what you’re given and that’s what you’ve gotta go with.

Taylors expects tips from witnesses, investigative breakthroughs and outrage from the public as in the Blackburn case will lead to a suspect.

“In this case right now there’s little evidence, whereas in the other case you had quite a bit to look at right there. We had a better hand. So you build a better hand and so that’s what I think will happen here and I’m pretty confidant they’re going to zero in on somebody.”

If you know anything know anything about the murder, or Singleton's whereabouts Sunday night into Monday morning, call IMPD Homicide at 327-3475 or Crimestoppers at 262-TIPS.

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