UPDATE: Couple found dead in west side home

Crime, Law and JusticeCrimeFamilyHomicideMaurice SmithAssault

UPDATE: The victims of a north side double homicide have been identified as 31-year-old Maurice Smith and 26-year-old Nickina Cornett. They were found by a friend who went to check on them Thursday.

Investigators said Smith and Cornette had just moved to a home on the 3000 block of Harding Street to make a fresh start.

"They planned on getting married. They were trying to mend their relationship back together and move from another area to start over," says Lajaun Wilson, Smith's cousin.

About a month ago, family members said the victims were robbed at gunpoint in their home on the south side. During the robbery, Smith was shot in the face, sustaining minor injuries.

"He said when he shot him the gun was raggedy and the clip fell out of the gun and he started fighting him and the next day he moved out here," said Chris Williams, Smith's brother.

Now Williams wonders if those same people are responsible for their murders.

"He moved from the south side over here to avoid it and I guess they followed him. I'm not sure but I know whatever happened shouldn't have happened like this," Williams said.

Police said Smith and Cornett had been dead for several days before a friend found the couple dead inside their home just before 11 p.m. Thursday. Preliminary reports indicate bullet holes were found in Cornett's body but not Smith's.

"The position he was in he was protecting her like covering her up. Like to keep her from getting shot, that's what it looked like," remembered Wilson.

Luckily, their three-year-old daughter Onika was at a babysitters house at the time.

"Thank God she was somewhere safe. That was just God's will for her to be out of harm's way," said Williams.

The shooting comes just days after Smith posted a heartfelt message on his facebook page writing, "I feel like thanking God for my health family friends and my life. Been through a lot this summer but the big man helps me through it so let me count my blessings."

Now friends and family are left searching for answers and hanging on to hope.

"I can say God is good. He will get you. No matter who the hell you are," said Smith's sister Lesha.

Family members are now looking after the toddler. Autopsy and toxicology results are pending. The matter remains under investigation.

Detectives are asking the community if anyone may have noticed anything unusual or may spoken with the victims prior to the shooting. Contact the IMPD Homicide Branch at 317-327-3475 or Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

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Homicide detectives are searching for suspects in an apparent shooting that left a couple in their 30s dead on the west side.

Around 10:40 Thursday night, police say a man went to a home at the corner of 31st and Harding to check on a friend he hadn't heard from for some time.

Inside the house, he found his friend and a woman both dead.  Police aren't saying much, but family members at the scene say the man and woman were engaged to be married.  

The sister of the male victim said police told her 18 gunshots had been fired in the home and there had been forced entry.

Family members also say the couple had a three-year-old daughter together.  The girl was being watched by another family member at a different location and was not injured.

Neither police nor family offered any information about a motive for the shooting or possible suspects.  The family also told FOX59 there was nothing stolen from the home.

This story will be updated as we uncover more information.

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