Suspect Claims Victim Hired Him via Craigslist to Kill Her

He says teen placed Craigslist ad for killer
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2018 2:22 AM CST
Suspect Claims Victim Hired Him to Kill Her
Joseph Michael Lopez.   (Adams County Sheriff's Office)

A man in custody in Colorado has confessed to fatally shooting 19-year-old Natalie Bollinger, but he claims her death was still suicide, according to arrest documents seen by NBC News. According to an arrest affidavit, Joseph Michael Lopez, 22, told investigators that he shot the teen after answering a Craigslist ad in the "Women Seeking Men" section titled: "I want to put a hit on myself." He claimed he answered the ad because he had suffered from depression and thought he could help the teen, but he ended up shooting her after he couldn't talk her out of the "suicide." Lopez, who's being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, said he prayed with Bollinger before shooting her with a 9mm gun that she'd given him. He said she told him he could keep the gun as payment.

Bollinger's body was found Dec. 29 in a wooded area in Adams County, east of Boulder. The previous day, her boyfriend told police that she was missing and his Glock 9mm pistol was gone, the AP reports. According to an autopsy, she had a "potentially lethal" level of heroin in her system when she was killed. Days earlier, she had sought a protection order against a man she said had been stalking her, People reports. Investigators connected Lopez to the case through more than 100 text messages exchanged on the night she died. Police haven't confirmed whether the ad seeking a hit man was actually placed. Friends and relatives say Bollinger had suicidal thoughts in the past, but some say she'd been happy recently and had applied for a job the day before she died. (This man's teen wife was murdered in front of him—at his request.)

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