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Asenath (Senie) Arnold and Gary Henderson were murdered in their Greenville home Saturday, Aug. 3. Submitted photo

Family recalls slain couple


August 14, 2013
The daughter of a man brutally slain Saturday, Aug. 3, recalls that he was friendly and witty, would do anything for anyone, had a good comeback for everything and enjoyed making others laugh.

Sue-z Schmelz of Corydon said she was still hurting but "a little better" Monday, Aug. 5. Her father, Gary Henderson, and his long-time partner, Asenath (Senie) Arnold, were murdered, allegedly at the hands of 18-year-olds Austin Scott and Kevin (Drew) Schuler.

Officials said Scott and Schuler allegedly stabbed Henderson 23 times and beat Arnold with a wooden object and also stabbed Arnold in what police say was a "senseless, heinous, gruesome beating of a defenseless elderly couple."

"Today was better because we had a lot of things to do, things to get done, and just being around things of my dad and things of Senie and people telling stories; that will keep them alive in our memories and in our hearts," Schmelz said.

She said Arnold's family is also hurting and is doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances.

Serena Newkirk said her sister, Senie, would have done anything for anyone.

"She loved animals, she loved to do crafts and, most of all, she loved Gary," Newkirk said. "She was just a good person who loved to laugh and loved kids."

Newkirk said her sister suffered from Crohn's disease for many years, but she never let her physical limitations bring her down and was always positive.

"We almost lost her several years ago," she said. "We were close to having to pull the plug, and some Amish came and sang and she came back. She was absolutely a fighter.

"I just can't believe someone could be this cruel; I just don't understand it," Newkirk said. "She fought for her life, and those boys had absolutely no right to take her life from her."

Henderson and Arnold met almost 21 years ago — through Schmelz — at River Bottom Inn in Mauckport.

"Me and my dad were dancing and having a good time, and I went to the bathroom and this lady tells me she's never seen a dad and daughter having so much fun. So, I introduced them and that was it. They've pretty much been together ever since," Schmelz said. "They were never apart. They were really happy and really happy together. They built their business, and they loved their life. They just loved each other."

The couple's business, Welcome Home Horse Carriages, provided carriage rides and pony rides at various gatherings. They were often seen with their white, Cinderella carriage at various events on the Corydon town square, they'd taken their carriage to Harvest Homecoming in New Albany for the past 20 years and they were involved with giving pony rides at Joe Huber Family Farm in Starlight.

Schmelz said she was asleep on the couch Saturday when she got a knock at the door and the news of the murders.

"Sheriff (Rod) Seelye introduced himself and the coroner, and I knew something bad was wrong. He asked me a few questions about my family, probably to make sure he was at the right house. They said that my dad and Senie were victims of a homicide," Schmelz said. "I asked if they were shot and he told me no. I asked if they were stabbed and he said that they were not shot. That's basically all they told us at the time."

Schmelz said she believes that with Schuler having lived nearby that he may have been familiar with her father.

"I think the one kid may have known Dad in some way, just in being around that neighborhood," Schmelz said. "They would have had to known where the house was, because you can't see it from the road."

This isn't the first tragedy Schmelz has encountered. Twenty years ago in May, her brother, Gregory Henderson, was murdered, having been stabbed 17 times by a roommate in Texas. She said no family should ever have to go through a murder, let alone twice.

"They are kids; they are 18 years old. I don't know why it was important for them to kill Dad and Senie, but I hope they never see the light of day again. I hope they are behind bars for the rest of their life," Schmelz said. "(Henderson and Arnold) would have never hurt anybody. If anything, they would have opened their door and said, 'Come in; have some tea with us. You're here, so now you're family and you better hug us before you leave.' That's who they were. 'Let's go grill. I don't know you, but let's go grill'."

Neither Henderson nor Arnold had insurance at the time of their deaths, so Schmelz said that, in lieu of flowers, the family is asking that memorial contributions be made to Swarens Funeral Home in Ramsey, which is handling the funeral arrangements. The two were cremated and their ashes placed in a single urn. Prior to their interment at Wolfe Cemetery near Georgetown, Henderson and Arnold had a final ride in the Cinderella carriage, which took them to their final resting place.

"We will miss them very, very much," Schmelz said. "I'm so thankful for all of the support of our community and our family and our friends. We could not do it without the support that we have. We couldn't make it through this."

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