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Suspect charged in ‘brutal’ murders of two Indianapolis women found dead days apart near each other

todayFebruary 9, 2024


Indianapolis Metro Police Department

(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.) — A suspect has been arrested in the “brutal and evil” murders of two Indiana women who were both stabbed to death days apart and found near each other, police announced on Friday.

The victims were found dead on Indianapolis’ east side, police said. The body of the first victim — Shannon Lassere, 58 — was found in a parking lot on Jan. 27, while the second — Marianne Weis, 52 — was found behind a building about 150 yards away on Feb. 1, police said.

Both had been killed by “multiple sharp force injuries,” the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said.

“This was brutal and evil, what happened to them,” Indianapolis Interim Police Chief Christopher Bailey said at a press briefing on Friday.

“An arrest in this case will not bring these two women back, but I pray this step brings the family and the loved ones the comfort they need as they continue to grieve. I also pray that this arrest brings our neighbors on the east side, a sense of peace and safety,” he added.

David Hiner, 30, was charged on Friday with two counts of murder in their deaths, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office said. He is in custody and is likely to make his first court appearance next week. It is unclear if he has an attorney.

Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears thanked the community for their help on what he called the “unnecessary and thoughtless killing” of two vulnerable members of the community.

“Where you have two separate incidents involving two different people over the course of a couple of days, it is paramount that we’re in a position to hammer down a timeline — which we were able to do because of the community’s involvement and participation,” Mears said during a press briefing on Friday. “We would not be here without those individuals coming forward with that information.”

Hiner knew the second victim, Weis, according to Indianapolis Deputy Chief Kendale Adams. Police do not have any information that the suspect knew Lassere, Adams said.

Surveillance and forensic evidence helped lead detectives to arrest the suspect, Adams said.

Surveillance footage showed Weis walking with a man after leaving a bar the night she was killed, according to the probable cause affidavit. Several people at the bar also told people they saw Weis leave with a man, according to the affidavit.

Detectives began looking for a person who fit the description of the man captured on the surveillance footage, Adams said. While patrolling the area near where the women were found on Tuesday, detectives saw Hiner leave his apartment building wearing a black coat similar to the one seen in the video, according to the affidavit. He also had the same style of hair, build and complexion as the man seen in the footage, according to the affidavit.

Hiner was taken into custody on Tuesday and detectives obtained a search warrant for his apartment.

During the search on Wednesday, detectives found a pair of Nike Air Max-style shoes in his bedroom that appeared “to have dried blood on them,” according to the affidavit.

Jeans that appeared to match those seen in the surveillance video were also found “soaking in bleach in a bucket in the bathtub,” the affidavit stated. Another pair of jeans found in a hamper also appeared to have “specks of possible blood on them,” the affidavit stated.

Detectives needed more time while awaiting DNA results on the evidence before making an arrest, police said. They had learned that Hiner was on probation out of La Porte County in Indiana, and a probation violation and warrant for his arrest was issued out of the county on Wednesday, police said.

A preliminary DNA analysis of blood from the suspect’s shoes matched the blood of both victims, police said.

“This confirmation from the lab was key to positively connecting the suspect, David Hiner, to the victims,” Adams said.

No murder weapon has been recovered, Adams said.

While being interviewed by police, Hiner allegedly said he was aware that two women had been killed recently near his home but “had nothing to do with it and only saw what was on the news,” the affidavit stated. He also denied being at the bar where Weis was prior to her murder, according to the affidavit.

After being shown photos from the video surveillance cameras he “admitted that it was him in the photos,” though denied that Weis was with him despite witness accounts, the affidavit stated.

He also allegedly claimed the shoes belonged to his mother’s boyfriend, though she told police she had recently given them to her son, according to the affidavit.

A motive remains unknown, police said.

Hiner had been released from prison in September 2023, police said.

Online court and state correction court records show he had served at least 10 years for aggravated battery after pleading guilty in 2012 to shooting a pizza delivery driver two years earlier.

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