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Indiana home explosion now homicide investigation

FILE - This aerial file photo from Nov. 11, 2012, shows the two homes that were leveled and the numerous neighboring homes that were damaged from a massive explosion that sparked a huge fire and killed two people in Indianapolis. Authorities launched a homicide investigation Monday, Nov. 19, 2012 into the house explosion that killed a young couple and left numerous homes uninhabitable in an Indianapolis neighborhood. (AP Photo/The Indianapolis Star, Matt Kryger, File) NO SALES

AP

FILE - This aerial file photo from Nov. 11, 2012, shows the two homes that were leveled and the numerous neighboring homes that were damaged from a massive explosion that sparked a huge fire and killed two people in Indianapolis. Authorities launched a homicide investigation Monday, Nov. 19, 2012 into the house explosion that killed a young couple and left numerous homes uninhabitable in an Indianapolis neighborhood. (AP Photo/The Indianapolis Star, Matt Kryger, File) NO SALES

INDIANAPOLIS — Authorities launched a homicide investigation Monday into the house explosion that killed a young couple and left numerous homes uninhabitable in an Indianapolis neighborhood.

Indianapolis Homeland Security director Gary Coons made the announcement after meeting with residents of the subdivision where the Nov. 10 blast occurred and shortly after funerals were held for the two victims, a married couple who lived next to the house where investigators believe the explosion originated.

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‘‘We are turning this into a criminal homicide investigation,’’ Coons said, marking the first time investigators have called the case criminal.

Search warrants are being executed and officials are looking for a white van that was seen in the subdivision on the day of the blast, Marion County prosecutor Terry Curry said.

Authorities are offering at least a $10,000 reward.

Curry said the investigation is aimed at ‘‘determining if there are individuals who may be responsible for this explosion and fire.’’ Neither he nor Coons took questions or indicated if they had any suspects.

No arrests have been made.

Officials have said they believe natural gas was involved in the explosion, which destroyed five homes and left dozens damaged. Investigators have been focusing on appliances as they search for a cause.

Hundreds of people attended the funerals earlier Monday for the couple killed in the explosion, 34-year-old John Dion Longworth and 36-year-old Jennifer Longworth. She was a teacher and her husband was an electronics expert.

‘There is a search for truth and there is a search for justice,’’ said the mayor of Indianapolis, Greg Ballard.

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