IN police say suspect in death of former SC pastor's pregnant wi - FOX Carolina 21

IN police say suspect in death of former SC pastor's pregnant wife caught on camera

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Davey and Amanda Blackburn are pictured in a photo from a happier times. Police say Amanda was killed in a home invasion and they're searching for her killer. (Photo provided by Unify Greenville) Davey and Amanda Blackburn are pictured in a photo from a happier times. Police say Amanda was killed in a home invasion and they're searching for her killer. (Photo provided by Unify Greenville)
Davey Blackburn and Amanda Blackburn are pictured with their son Weston. Amanda has reportedly died after she was injured in a home invasion. (Credit: The Gathering website) Davey Blackburn and Amanda Blackburn are pictured with their son Weston. Amanda has reportedly died after she was injured in a home invasion. (Credit: The Gathering website)
Police in Indianapolis are searching for a suspect after Amanda Blackburn was killed. Police in Indianapolis are searching for a suspect after Amanda Blackburn was killed.
Amanda Blackburn, far right, is pictured in prayer at the Unify Greenville revival last August. (Photo provided by Unify Greenville) Amanda Blackburn, far right, is pictured in prayer at the Unify Greenville revival last August. (Photo provided by Unify Greenville)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (FOX Carolina) -

The wife of a former Upstate youth pastor has died in a robbery in Indiana and police are searching for her killer.

Police said Amanda Blackburn died Wednesday after she was shot in the head in her Indianapolis home. Amanda was the wife of Davey Blackburn who had served at NewSpring Church in Anderson before the couple established Resonate Church in Indianapolis in 2012.  

Davey served as a youth pastor, production director and associate campus pastor for four years at NewSpring, according to his biography on Resonate Church’s website.

Resonate Church posted on its Facebook page that Davey returned home from the gym and discovered that someone had broken into his home and found Amanda with a gunshot wound. Amanda, according to the post, was immediately rushed to a hospital where she later died from her injuries. 

Amanda and Davey have a son Weston, who’s almost 1-year-old, and Amanda was 12 weeks pregnant at the time of her death, according to an Indiana organization called The Gathering. 

Weston and the family's dog were not hurt in the burglary, police said.

Police said Thursday that Davey was not a suspect and had been "cleared 100 percent" in the investigation.

Investigators said during a Friday morning news conference that a house two doors down from the Blackburns' was burglarized earlier Tuesday morning. Police believe the same suspects broke into the Blackburn's home and killed Amanda.

Police said he earlier burglary happened  around 5:30 a.m., about half an hour before Davey left for the gym. They believe the suspects saw Davey leave and thought his house would be unoccupied.

Around 6:45 a.m. police said a neighbor heard what might have been gunshots.

Neighbors also saw a person in a hoodie walking out of the first home that was burglarize. Others also saw that person in the community and said the person appeared to be making a deliberate effort to conceal his or her face. That same person was also captured on multiple people's home surveillance cameras.

"We have a picture of who killed her but we don't know his name," one investigator said.

Police said they could not release the photo at this time  but hoped to in the near future.

A dark colored SUV was also seen in the community and police believe the suspect may have had an accomplice.

Police had a message for the murderer: "You're not as good as you think you are. You left evidence behind... We will find you."

Police said it was "unbelievable how many people approached (them) with tips." Investigators said they were angry and so was the community, and both were working to get justice for the Blackburns.

 Click here to watch the news conference live.

Davey Blackburn released the following statement Wednesday about his wife's death:

It's impossible to communicate all the emotions my heart has been forced to process. My wife was such a beautiful, gracious, loving woman of God. I have not only lost my ministry partner and support but also my very best friend. There is no way to prepare yourself for circumstances like these. As deeply as I am hurting I am hopeful and confident that good things will come of this. I rest in the truth of Romans 8:28 that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose. 

Thank you for understanding my desire to take these next few days to continue to grieve for Amanda Grace. My focus right now is to let The Lord minister to my heart as I continue to shepherd little Weston's. I'll be taking this time to focus on being a great follower of Jesus, dad, family member, and pastor to our growing church.

Amanda made it her life’s calling to love and serve everyone she knew. Even more, she has made it her life’s mission to see as many people as possible come to know Jesus as their personal Savior. I know that in her death and legacy even more people will come to a saving faith in Christ. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt her desire for me would be to continue what we've started here in Indy. I hold firm to the belief that God is still good, that He takes our
tragedy and turns it into triumph, and that the best truly is yet to come.

On Friday, Davey Blackburn posted a message of thanks for the support he had been receiving via the Resonate Church Facebook page.

Dear Resonate Family,

I cannot thank you enough for the unbelievable outpouring of love that you have shared with my family over the past few days. As many of you know, my wife Amanda Grace and our unborn baby have been tragically killed.

We are going to have church this Sunday, just like we always do. In addition to meeting together at our normal service times, we are going to focus on celebrating Amanda’s life later Sunday afternoon. Please join me at Traders Point Christian Church at 5:00pm. We are going to worship, share the gospel through sharing Amanda’s story, laugh together and cry together. Her heart would be that you invite as many people as possible to this celebration service that do not know the Lord. Amanda’s story has attracted national news. I know that Jesus is going to make good come from this, so in the event someone from the media tries to speak with you, simply respond by asking everyone to join us in prayer for my family. You can let them know that we have extremely heavy hearts and although we are hurting tremendously, we are still hoping and believing that great things are still yet to come.

-Davey

Amanda's father, Phil Byars, pastors First Baptist Church of Elkhart in Indiana. The church announced in a Facebook post Wednesday that Amanda Grace Blackburn "has entered the presence of her Lord and Savior."

Byars's church released another statement on Friday:

On behalf of the Byars/Blackburn family, we are so thankful for your prayers and support. For those who have been asking how to make a donation, you can do that at http://fbcelkhart.org/ and scroll down on the main page until you see "Donate to the Blackburn Family Support Fund" and click the words. That will bring you to the donation page.

Everything you give will go directly to help with all expenses and next steps for Davey and Weston. Please continue to support them in your prayers!

During his time at NewSpring, Davey served under Pastor Perry Noble. On Wednesday, Noble blogged about the tragic loss in a letter to members of NewSpring Church. Noble said that Davey had served as the Fuse Campus Pastor at the church's first satellite campus in Greenville. Noble said it was during that time that Davey married Amanda.

"...In 2012 the Lord laid on Davey's heart to plant a church in Indianapolis, Indiana. Their dream was to create a place to connect with people who normally wouldn’t connect with church," Noble wrote. 

"At this point I am talking with Davey consistently and trying to determine how our church can best help him and his family in the coming days. Right now I’m asking our church family to pray. Pray for Davey, his family, the investigation, and that justice will be served. As we know more or if there is anything else we need to do as a church, we will let you know," Noble said in the blog post. 

Noble sat down with FOX Carolina on Thursday and said he is amazed at the strength of Davey's faith in the midst of this tragedy and said he w certain that Amanda was making heaven an even brighter place.

Noble said he would speak Sunday at Amanda's funeral in Indianapolis.

READ MORE: NewSpring pastor Perry Noble reflects on Amanda Blackburn's death

Mike Gillespie, Davey Blackburn's former baseball coach at Southern Wesleyan University in Central, said he, his team, and former players are doing what they can to offer support.

"We're just going to let God lead us and just be there for Davey and be there for his son, Weston, and their entire family," Gillespie said.

Resonate Church has set up a fund to help Davey Blackburn financially. All the money give while go directly to expenses and helping Blackburn and his son with the next steps. Click here to donate. 

Police asked that anyone with information about the death call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-8477. A reward has been offered.

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