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Officials investigate Indianapolis blast as a homicide

By Susan Guyett

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - A massive explosion that rocked an Indiana neighborhood this month, killing a married couple and damaging scores of homes, is being investigated as a homicide, officials said on Monday.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said authorities probing the explosion and fire that damaged 80 homes have carried out numerous interviews and search warrants, and are seeking information on a white van seen in the area on the day of the blast.

"Based upon those interviews and the search warrants, we can confirm tonight that there is an active homicide investigation in this matter," Curry said.

Curry spoke on the same day a funeral was held for the couple killed in the November 10 blast, Jennifer and John Longworth.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a award of up to a $10,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case.

Curry did not offer details on the homicide investigation.

Citizens Energy Group said last week that tests found no evidence of natural gas leaks from its underground facilities in the area. Authorities have also ruled out a meth lab explosion as a cause of the blast.

(Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Will Dunham)

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