Fort Wayne police found three dead bodies inside a home on Lima Road Saturday afternoon. A woman from out of state had called them after she saw a disturbing post on Facebook.
Sunday that woman talked to NewsChannel 15.
“I was just playing on my Facebook and through the news feed I saw he updated his status,” Nancy Lopez said.
Lopez lives in Washington state but is Facebook friends with Bart Heller. At 2:46 p.m. Saturday this posted as his status:
“someone call 911. three dead bodies at 3229 lima road fort wayne indiana. I’ve killed ryann, erin, and myself. people were warned not to f***ing play me and ruin me. they didn’t listen. sorry about your luck.”
“I just kind of freaked out when I saw it and was thinking to myself, ‘Is this true or fake?’ Then I just called and looked up Fort Wayne police and told them what was going on and that a friend of mine on Facebook and his name and read them the post and they said the address was the same as they had listed for him,” Lopez said.
Officers were dispatched out to the home on Lima Road at 3:04 p.m. – 18 minutes after the status update. When they arrived, they saw a man not moving through a window. When officers went inside, they found three bodies. They were pronounced dead at the scene at 3:19 p.m.
“A detective called me back and was asking me questions about if I knew any family or not. I asked him if this true or a joke and he said they can’t release any information at this time. Then I saw [NewsChannel 15’s Facebook page] and I was sad to [learn] it was true,” Lopez said.
Sunday the Allen County coroner released the names of two of people found. Erin Jehl, 19, and Ryann Tipton, 19 were both shot to death. The coroner ruled their deaths a homicide.
An autopsy was also done on the third body. The coroner’s office said it was a man who officials say is the shooter. The coroner also said he shot himself, ruling his death a suicide. But, that man’s name hasn’t been released yet. Investigators are waiting for fingerprint verification. His name should be released on Monday.
Lopez said she never met Heller in person. He just friend-requested her because he wanted to get to know people in other areas of the country, she said. Their interactions on the site were sporadic.
“They were just more like, ‘Hi. How are you?’ That kind of thing. We never talked serious,” Lopez said.
Lopez also didn’t know Erin or Ryann or how the three were connected. But, the whole situation shook her up.
“It took an emotional toll being way over here in Washington and not knowing if it was true,” Lopez said. “When I found out it was I cried. My prayers go out to all of them, all three families involved. All three because they’re all going through a hard time right now and hopefully in all their hearts in all the families they’ll find forgiveness.”
Turn the page to see the video report and interview with the woman who called the police.