Joseph Lopez, 22, the man accused of shooting and killing 19-year-old Natalie Bollinger, told Colorado investigators she placed an ad on Craigslist asking to be murdered.
Lopez claimed he did not know Natalie Bollinger before responding to a Craigslist ad that said “I want to put a hit on myself” in late December 2017. He said he told the Broomfield, Colorado woman he was a hit man.
On December 28, Bollinger’s boyfriend reported her missing. Her body was discovered in a wooded area on a dairy farm the next day.
Her body was identified on January 2 and a funeral service was held on January 13.
Update: The body found this weekend in Adams County is now confirmed to be 19-year-old Natalie Bollinger. Investigators ask anyone with information about the whereabouts of Natalie after 1:00pm Thursday, December 28 to please contact the ADCO @ 303-654-1850 or 303-288-1535. pic.twitter.com/v9VpdNxNjJ
— Jaclyn Allen (@jaclynreporting) January 2, 2018
Bollinger’s murder baffled authorities. An autopsy showed she had died from a single gunshot wound to the head, fired from behind at close range. An autopsy also showed she had a “potentially lethal level of heroin in the blood at time of death.”
Police initially focused their investigation on a 42-year-old man Bollinger had accused of stalking her. Below is Bollinger’s last Facebook post, dated December 13.
The supposed stalker, Shawn Schwartz, was initially deemed a person of interest. But after being questioned by police, he was ruled out as a suspect.
See Previous Article: Alleged Stalking Victim Natalie Bollinger Confirmed Dead in Colorado
What Happened Between Natalie Bollinger, Lopez?
It wasn’t until police looked at Natalie Bollinger’s phone and found 111 messages that had been exchanged between her and Lopez on December 28—the suspected day she died—that they changed their focus.
Police caught up to Lopez as he arrived at his Domino’s Pizza job on February 8. He claimed he was an unwitting executioner, recounting how he found Bollinger’s Craigslist ad on the “women seeking men” section.
Lopez reached out to Bollinger, who allegedly told him she would pay him to kill her execution-style. Initially, Lopez said he met Bollinger but backed out of the hit and simply dropped her off at her apartment. She then took her own life some time later, he claimed.
But GPS data from Lopez’s phone told another story. It placed him in the remote woods where Bollinger’s body was found. Lopez changed his story and said he tried to talk her out of the plan while they drove around, looking for the right spot to kill her.
They eventually settled on a wooded area where, according to Lopez, the two of them prayed before he shot her in the back of the head with a gun she had provided.
On Facebook, Bollinger’s sister disputed Lopez’s claims.
People aren't even thinking of the fact, this man IS EVIL enough to take her life. Why would he not make this all up????…
Lopez is being held on suspicion of murder without bail.