Mom says son who was killed in quadruple murder was at wrong place, wrong time

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INDIANAPOLIS (March 3, 2014) – The mother of one of the four people shot to death in a south side home said her son was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Penny Steele drove in from California after she learned her 43-year-old son Jacob Rodemich was killed inside a home on South Parker Ave. Police believe four people went into the home to rob the victims of drugs and money.

“He was just renting a room there and he picked the wrong place to rent a room,” said Steele. She spoke to FOX59 in her motel room. Across the room sat a blue and white urn which will hold her son’s ashes. She plans to take them back to California with her.

“That’s my baby. I’ve lost him. He’s not ever coming. He’s not ever gonna call me again,” she said as she teared up. “He was a real good-hearted person. He’d help anybody.”

Steele explained that her son had just lost his job and was introduced to 47-year-old Walter Burnell who offered him a place to stay. But it wasn’t long before Rodemich wanted to leave.

“He said there was just a lot of traffic and stuff… that he didn’t like what was going on,” she recalled. “He called me the night before he got shot… He said ‘I am gonna come.’ He said ‘I give up. I’m gonna come back out there.’”

Only a few hours after that phone call, Rodemich and three others were shot to death.

While Steele admits her son did drugs, she believes that he was never involved in dealing them.

“He had his faults… but he didn’t deserve to die the way he died. He didn’t deserve to die at all,” she insisted. “I just don’t understand why. I know they wanted the money and the drugs, but why did they have to kill everybody?”

A memorial for Jacob Rodemich will be held on Tuesday and it is a private event.

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