A highly-regarded reporter and her uncle were discovered shot to death in Ohio on Monday, and their deaths are being investigated as a homicide, according to authorities.
Cleveland.com reports that a culture reporter who worked for the company, 30-year-old Nikki Delamotte, and her uncle, 67-year-old Robert J. Delamotte, were found dead in the man’s Perrysburg Township trailer, located about 12 miles south of Toledo.
The media outlet reports that officials said the deaths are being treated as a homicide, but that “they declined to offer any additional details.”
Nikki, a Cleveland-based journalist, reportedly drove to her paternal uncle’s home in an effort to “reconnect” with the man, whom she had apparently lost touch with since her parent’s divorce several years prior, the victim’s mother said, according to the outlet.
The reporter had previously seen Robert in October, when she made arrangements to meet up again in order to watch a football game together Sunday. Nikki’s mom, Joanne Ullman, added that her daughter informed her of the plans ahead of time.
“…She was going go over and they were going go to some neighborhood bar and watch the game,” Ullman said.
When Ullman didn’t hear from her daughter Sunday night, and “someone familiar with her movements reached out to her mother on Facebook early Monday,” she reportedly filed a missing a person’s report with officials.
Ullman said her daughter and the uncle were subsequently found shot to death in the trailer Monday morning, with Nikki’s cellphone and wallet discovered still inside of her vehicle. Neighbors reportedly heard nothing amiss in the timeframe of when the shooting apparently occurred.
“She’s beautiful and no one should have ever hurt her. And that’s all I’m going to say,” the grieving mother told the Toledo Blade.
An editor for Cleveland.com, Chris Quinn, recalled Nikki as a relentless reporter with a strong knack for telling stories in the media outlet’s report.
“Nikki represented the highest ideals of what we do, the very best of who we are,” the statement read. “She told the stories of people our audience would not otherwise meet. More than anything, she was kind, in an age when we need kindness. She never failed to leave an impression. Our hearts ache tonight at the loss of our dear friend and colleague.”
Mike Norman, the victim’s life and culture editor, described the tragedy as devastating, and also recalled Nikki as a strong reporter.
“We’re just devastated. Nikki was one of the most beloved members of our staff. She didn’t really need an editor; she was one of those people who was her own engine. I just felt honored to help her however I could. It made me feel good to contribute to anything she did because she was doing such great work.”
This story is developing. Check back with CrimeOnline for the latest updates.
[Feature Photo: Nikki Delamotte/Facebook]