This summer, an Indianapolis teenager was abducted, strangled, and set on fire—a horrifying crime made all the more tragic by her story of a troubled girl gone good, the Indianapolis Star reports. Dominique Allen was 15 when someone apparently kidnapped her outside a neighbor's house, killed her on an abandoned property, and burned her body (presumably to destroy DNA evidence) in someone's backyard. Now police detectives are struggling to solve the nearly two-month-old case while people in Dominique's community march the streets, WISH-TV reports. "We're jeopardizing the community by keeping this person out there," says one of her sisters. "Somebody knows something." One thing we do know is that Allen rejected the very kind of violence that claimed her life.
Distraught by her mother's death to Crohn's disease, Dominique turned angry in seventh grade and got in a fight that injured another girl. In high school, after two friends died to street violence, she turned over a new leaf and reached out to a guidance counselor for help: "Will you be my mom at school for me?" Dominique asked. Soon her algebra grades were improving and she was less downcast—but she died about a month later. "She pretty much had gone from a caterpillar to a butterfly," says her guidance counselor. Police have some sense of her killer—that he was older, knew the neighborhood, and had likely served time—but without hard evidence, the case is falling on community activists. "I know your conscience is bothering you," Dominique's uncle, a reverend, tells the killer via WXIN. "So I would ask also that you do the right thing and come forward." (Read more Indianapolis stories.)