Police alerted to Ind. deaths by Facebook post

December 13, 2011 GMT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — Police are investigating whether a breakup prompted a Fort Wayne man to shoot and kill his ex-girlfriend and a friend of hers before killing himself — a scene authorities say they were alerted to when a woman thousands of miles away called police after seeing a chilling Facebook posting.

Authorities suspect the ex-boyfriend shot and killed 19-year-old Erin Jehl and 19-year-old Ryann Tipton, whom Jehl had brought with her when she went to her ex-boyfriend’s house in Fort Wayne on Saturday afternoon to retrieve some belongings.

Police spokeswoman Officer Raquel Foster said Jehn’s relationship with her boyfriend ended days earlier. Police have not released the name of the ex-boyfriend, and Foster didn’t have additional details about the breakup. She said Jehl and Tipton were just friends.


Foster said investigators were not aware of any threats the boyfriend might have made before the shootings.

Allen County Coroner E. Jon Brandenberger ruled the deaths of Jehl and Tipton homicides on Sunday and ruled the boyfriend’s death a suicide.

Foster said authorities were alerted to the scene by a woman who said she was in in Washington state. She called police asking them to check on an address in Fort Wayne because she said she had seen a posting on Facebook from a friend saying he had killed two others and himself.

“That’s the way the call came in to us and that’s why we were dispatched to that home,” she said.

The posting urged people to call 911, saying: “I’ve killed ryann, erin and myself,” several local media outlets reported. The Facebook page was no longer up on Monday.

Foster said police are not sure the breakup was the cause of the shootings.

“We don’t know for certain what the motive was,” she said.