INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Sources tell FOX 59 News that IMPD narcotics detectives targeted a suspected drug house in the 3400 block of South Parker Avenue on Indianapolis’ south side before the killings of four people during a robbery on Feb. 20.
The sources stress that the probe is part of an ongoing investigation.
Meanwhile, the hallway outside of criminal court erupted into chaos as family members of a victim and the suspected triggerman met following the initial hearing of Kenneth “Cody” Rackemann.
“Everybody in that house was doing drugs that night,” said Ashley Brown, cousin of victim Kristy Sanchez, “or on drugs or associated with drugs. This world is coming to a very ugly place because of all of this.”
“She had no reason to be killed over methamphetamine and drugs,” said Melissa Gilbert, an aunt. “There’s no reason for all of this to take place.”
Rackemann was advised of his rights and asked for a court appointed attorney before being hustled from the courtroom as he addressed his family in the gallery.
Friday’s initial hearing was cut short as Rackemann announced to the judge that he didn’t kill Walter Burnell, Sanchez, Jacob Rodemich and Hayley Navarro. The initial hearing was continued Tuesday.
“We have not alleged him to be the architect of this plan. We have alleged him to be the shooter,” said Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson. “If there is a brains…what we have alleged…from the conspiracy…was put in place by defendant Anthony LaRussa.”
LaRussa and Rackemann are cousins. Valencia Williams is accused of killing Navarro and Samantha Bradley is accused accompanying Williams and Rackemann to the Burnell house.
Bradley is the girlfriend of LaRussa’s younger brother who was questioned and released after the killings.
Two days after the murders were discovered, and the night before they were arrested, LaRussa and Rackemann visited an Indianapolis tattoo parlor and received matching tattoos.
A tattoo artist told FOX 59 News the men both had the numerals 100 tattooed on their foreheads and the phrase “SWEET DREAMS” tattooed on their eyelids.
The men paid for the tattoos in cash. The artist said he has furnished IMPD detectives with signed releases bearing the suspects’ signatures.
FOX 59 News also came into possession of a set of keys that a source said belonged to LaRussa’s younger brother that he has expressed interest in retrieving. Those keys have been turned over to IMPD.
The main informant is a man who told investigators he and Rackemann were hired security guards at the drug house and he was present when the killings occurred.
He does not face charges.
“Obviously we feel in filing charges that the information he provided was truthful and we have corroborated it,” said Robinson.
Detectives have recovered at least two guns, one reportedly thrown by the female suspects onto the frozen lake of a west side apartment complex, the other a shotgun stolen from the Burnell home.
“We have a connection between the defendants and the West Lake Apartments,” said Robinson. “We have recovered other weapons at this point. I don’t know whether they connect to the actual incident so there’s forensic testing underway.”
“She was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Brown said about her cousin Sanchez. “That’s where she chose to be and her life ended that night.”