Donations comfort family of slain Indiana man

Community raises $130,000 to support pregnant widow of Indianapolis man slain during walk

Posted on April 4, 2014 at 5:27 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Family members say an outpouring of public support for the pregnant widow of a 24-year-old Indianapolis man who was fatally shot while on a pre-dawn walk Tuesday has brought “something wonderful” from the tragedy.

Donations totaling more than $130,000 as of Friday evening from more than 2,000 family, friends and total strangers have come in just days since Nathan Trapuzzano was killed in an attack for which police haven’t made any arrests.

Family says the aid is “overwhelming” and unexpected.

Chelsea Ransom, a cousin of Trapuzzano’s wife Jennifer, was amazed when her original goal to raise $10,000 on the online fundraising site GoFundMe was surpassed within hours. Jennifer’s entire Amazon wish list for college textbooks and every item in their baby registry has already been paid for, and someone is making her a memorial widow’s locket.

The donations are pouring in from across the country, Ransom said, but the Indianapolis area Trapuzzano called home is also helping.

Ivy Tech Community College, where Trapuzzano worked as a software engineer, has granted a two-year scholarship to his unborn child.

Ransom said even the Indianapolis Colts have reached out to the family to offer help and condolences.

The generosity is a testament both to the kind of man Trapuzzano was and the goodness in people, said Reverend Christopher Roberts, who married the couple.

“In the Indianapolis area there’s been a disturbing number of murders this year,” Roberts said. “People see that evil and have responded so positively.”

The money raised will pay for the funeral. Whatever is leftover will go to support the slain man’s wife and child.

But the money is only part of the generosity Indiana residents and other supporters across the country have shown the family.

Beneath a dozen photos or so of Nathan and Jennifer Trapuzzano smiling and holding each other — including one of the pair dressed as an oven and a “bun maker” — donors posted comments of sympathy and support.

A former Valparaiso resident wrote about her own husband’s death weeks after the birth of her daughter on the GoFundMe site. She offered to send baby products and lend the empathetic ear of someone “who might understand, even a little, what you may be feeling.”

“With this tragedy, it really did bring something wonderful to light,” Ransom said. “Seeing all these strangers reaching out — it restores your faith in humanity.”

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