INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis mother is frustrated with police and prosecutors following her daughter’s unsolved murder.
The 19-year-old victim was shot to death on Indy’s northeast side late last year.
A small memorial marks the spot where Marysa Collins was murdered inside her car.
Her mother now claims there were some major problems with evidence collection in the case, including a gun that police somehow overlooked.
In November 2020, less than two weeks after her 19th birthday, Collins was shot in her car and later died in the hospital.
Her mother still mourns the unsolved killing.
“Every day is different, trying to get her case solved,” said Amber Shumpert.
After police processed her daughter’s bullet riddled Ford, officers returned it to Amber’s family.
Amber claims they found 4 live rounds, bullet fragments and just last week while vacuuming the car, a handgun was discovered next to the driver’s seat.
The car had been in the family’s possession for several months before the gun was discovered.
“This gun was not used in the crime, but it’s troubling because I feel like in a homicide the car should be investigated thoroughly,” said Shumpert.
That gun was legally registered to Marysa and was not the murder weapon, but Amber says police wouldn’t have known that while searching the car.
The family also reported the gun stolen when they couldn’t locate it following the murder. The gun remained listed as stolen until it was found last week.
Responding to Amber’s complaint., IMPD’s homicide branch commander Roger Spurgeon wrote, “I understand that your faith is shaken in our ability to do that based on the issues you’ve described, and I thank you for bringing them to our attention. As for the evidence in the car – especially the gun – we are trying to determine what happened. It is troubling to think that something that large in the passenger compartment could be missed.”
Captain Spurgeon also promised a review of the case, adding, “Regardless of the final determination, this review should help us improve, even if it is only to reinforce how important it is for all of our personnel to “leave no stone unturned”. I thank you again for bringing this to our attention.”
According to police records, there are still more than 130 unsolved homicides from 2020, including the Collins case.
Amber wonders how many of those cases also involve some mismanagement of evidence collection.
“I’m not trying to hurt the police department. I’m trying to help and point out that if we’re missing large pieces of evidence, that could be why we can’t solve certain crimes,” said Shumpert.