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Our first look at two suspects arrested in 2013 cold case home invasion murder of 21-year-old Indiana woman

Jesse McCartney, Destiny Pittman, Joey McCartney

Jesse McCartney, Destiny Pittman, Joey McCartney (Image via Kokomo Police Department)

Two men were identified Thursday as suspects in the long-unsolved murder of 21-year-old Destiny Renee Pittman, who was shot in the chest and killed in her Kokomo, Indiana home on Feb. 7, 2013.

Joey McCartney, 32, and Jesse McCartney, 36, are allegedly the two men responsible for the home invasion murder. According to the Kokomo Police Department, the younger McCartney was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals at the crack of dawn on Thursday morning at a residence in Graham, Kentucky. The older McCartney was arrested by U.S. Marshals and local police roughly two hours later—at 8 a.m.—at a residence in Kokomo. Graham and Kokomo are more than a four-hour drive apart.

Just one month ago, it was reported locally that investigators were still looking for answers about the murder that left Pittman’s surviving family and friends devastated. Authorities now how now taken their first steps towards justice, alleging that the two identified suspects committed burglary, robbery, and ultimately murder more than 10 years ago.

“On February 7, 2013 at approximately 9:33 pm, officers of the Kokomo Police Department were dispatched to 815 James Drive in reference to a shooting. Upon their arrival, officers located 21 year old Destiny Pittman suffering from a gunshot wound. Destiny was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators with the Kokomo Police Department have continued to investigate multiple leads on this case since 2013,” police said. “As a result of the continued investigation, along with citizens continuing to provide leads, investigators with the Criminal Investigations Section were able to obtain arrest warrants for two individuals.”

A Kokomo Tribune report from 2015 said that Pittman was killed in the residence she shared with her boyfriend. The report said that two children and a female roommate were at the residence at the time of the shooting but escaped unharmed. Three dogs were also in the house at the time of the crime.

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The McCartneys each face charges of murder, robbery resulting in bodily injury, conspiracy to commit burglary resulting in bodily injury, and burglary, all felony charges. Authorities did not immediately specify how the McCartneys are connected to each other or Pittman, but the Tribune reported the suspects are brothers.

An obituary from 2013 said that Pittman was born in Kokomo on Jan. 9, 1992 and died there on Feb. 7, 2013. Pittman would be 31 years old if she was still alive today.

Indiana court records reviewed by Law&Crime indicate that a Graham, Ky., resident with Kokomo ties named Joey McCartney previously faced a misdemeanor battery case starting in September 2012. A pretrial diversion agreement was filed on Feb. 28, 2013—three weeks after Destiny Pittman was shot and killed. A scheduled bench trial in the battery case was cancelled thereafter. In March 2014, the case was dismissed due to the defendant’s completion of the diversion program.

The Indiana court database shows Jesse McCartney was also charged with battery in September 2012. That charge was listed as a felony because the allegedly injured victim was a health care provider, the docket indicates. A pretrial diversion agreement was filed on April 3, 2013 and the case was dismissed a year later. The case file was destroyed in 2016, the docket adds.

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.