A man arrested in the death of a 19-year-old found dead in the woods near a Colorado dairy farm told police the woman put an ad on Craigslist seeking out someone to kill her.
Authorities announced Friday they arrested 22-year-old Joseph Lopez on suspicion of first-degree murder in the death of Natalie Bollinger. They approached him Thursday as he arrived for work at Domino’s Pizza and asked if he was willing to answer some questions, the Denver Channel reported.
The suspect told detectives “he was pretty sure he knew what they were there for” and that “he was sure it had to with the girl he talked to on Craigslist,” according the arrest affidavit.
Lopez continued on to explain how he came across a bizarre post on the classified ads website while he was combing through the “Women seeking Men” section. The ad was titled “I want to put a hit on myself” and Lopez claims Bollinger had been the person behind it.
The suspect told detectives how he reached out using a fake persona and how he letter met up with Bollinger to carry out the deed.
Police discovered the Bloomfield teen’s body off Riverdale Road on the property of McIntosh Dairy farm a day after her boyfriend reported her missing on Dec. 28, 2017.
Weeks before she vanished, Bollinger had been granted a restraining order against a 42-year-old man, an alleged stalker.
Bollinger died from a single gunshot wound to the head and had “potentially lethal level of heroin” in her system at the time of her death, according to the autopsy.
Lopez eventually admitted to pulling the trigger, though he initially claimed he did not go through with the hit.
He described how Bollinger “knelt down on the ground and that he knelt down on the ground along her left side and slightly in front of her,” according to affidavit.
They prayed together before Lopez allegedly fired off the fatal shot. He then bolted with the victim’s purse and the gun.
Authorities uncovered more than 100 text messages between the pair on Dec. 28. Adams County Sheriff Michael McIntosh said Bollinger only knew the shooter for a short period of time, but declined to discuss a motive in the murder.
“It’s very difficult in these cases, even if there is a stated motive to really determine long-term what that motive truly is,” he said. “The motive will truly come out in court.”
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