An Indiana man on probation was identified as the suspect behind the shock murders of two Indianapolis women, with police revealing Friday that his arrest came largely because his alleged victims fought back against him.
David Hiner, 30, now faces a pair of murder charges for the slayings of Marianne Weis and Shannon Lassere, announced Chief Christopher Bailey of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department in a news conference.
Bailey said the women, both mothers who were well known on Indianapolis’ east side, were killed by “multiple sharp force injuries.” The nature of their deaths evoked fear across Indianapolis, and sparked a two-week probe into identifying their killer.
Bailey said detectives collected “a significant amount of video” from businesses in the area and used forensics to link the crime to Hiner, who was just released from prison in September.
“This was brutal and evil what happened to them, but because they both fought back, we were able to make an arrest,” Bailey said.
Lassere, 58, was found dead in a parking lot off Mitthoefer Road on Jan. 27. Five days later, the body of Weis, 52, was found on a backroad near Mitthoefer, less than 450 feet from where Lassere was found.
Bailey said that Hiner knew Weiss and lived in an apartment complex that was walking distance of where the women were found murdered. The chief did not specify what their relationship was.
Hiner was identified as a person of interest last week and was taken into custody for violating his probation in a neighboring county, said IMPD’s deputy chief, Kendale Adams. He was solidified as the murder suspect after a search of his apartment revealed he had shoes with dried blood on them and had jeans that were being soaked in bleach in a bathtub. Another pair of jeans were allegedly found in a closet, stained by blood.
Adams said Hiner remained in custody while police awaited the DNA results from a lab for his soiled clothes. Once those came back this week, he said the blood on Hiner’s shoes and jeans were a match to both victims.
A motive for the murders remains unknown. Adams said Hiner suffered injuries of his own, seemingly from the women, which helped cops nail him down as their murder suspect.
“There’s no doubt in my mind, based on conversations with detective, that these women defended themselves the best they could,” he said.