A woman, her daughter, and her daughter’s boyfriend were criminally charged on Thursday for the death of the woman’s ex-boyfriend, who was reportedly found dead in his Indiana home months earlier.
The Indianapolis Star reported that Francis Kelley, 46, (not pictured) was found dead on a couch at his Carmel home on January 18, after another ex-girlfriend alerted police when he failed to pick up their 9-year-old daughter for her birthday a day earlier.
Investigators observed bruising on Kelley’s eye, elbows, knees, and hand. He was also found on a couch with a bag of cocaine under him. The news outlet reported that despite this, police said at the time that they found no evidence suggesting foul play was involved in Kelley’s death.
However, a subsequent autopsy concluded that Kelley was strangled and sustained blunt-force trauma to his head. Fentanyl was reportedly found in his system, leading detectives to deem his death a homicide.
At the time of his death, Kelley and another one of his ex-girlfriends, Heidi Littlefield, 41, (pictured left) were in a custody battle involving their 2-year-old daughter. Littlefield, along with her daughter and daughter’s boyfriend, Logan Runyon, 22, and Robert Walker, 29, (pictured center, right) were subsequently arrested and criminally charged in connection with Kelley’s death.
Text messages purportedly suggested that Littlefield was in Kelley’s home on January 14, a day before he last communicated with anyone. In the alleged messages, the pair were discussing an upcoming custody hearing when Kelley asks Littlefield if she tampered with some oatmeal that he presumably ate.
“You were in my fridge last night and it [oatmeal] tasted funny after a couple bites and now I am lightheaded. I just got off the phone with my broker … and I had to ask him to repeat basic things,” Kelley wrote, according to the Carmel Current.
The Star reported that Littlefield denied the allegation and did not read or respond to subsequent messages sent by Kelley.
Police said Littlefield was heard in recordings telling an ex-boyfriend about planting drugs on Kelley and wanting him dead. At one point, Littlefield allegedly said Kelley was abusive and she would “be failing her daughter” if he remained alive.
According to a relative interviewed by police, Littlefield also said “she didn’t mean to kill him last time” and insinuated that she would claim she was “crazy and pregnant” when she carried out the slaying.
Walker, who was jailed in Ohio at the time of his arrest on Tuesday, allegedly told police that Littlefield had tried to kill Kelley on at least two other instances. He reportedly said Littlefield and her 2-year-old daughter snuck into Kelley’s home in October and laced his miso soup with fentanyl. Runyon reportedly stayed in the car at the time.
In regards to January’s incident which resulted in Kelley’s death, Runyon allegedly told Walker that she and her mother snuck into Kelley’s apartment after he ate the fentanyl-laced oatmeal. Walker said the pair found Kelley unresponsive but he was not dead, according to WISH.
“Walker advised Heidi [Littlefield] tried to get Logan [Runyon] to ‘snap his neck,’ but Logan couldn’t do it, so Heidi then tied ‘his favorite’ tie around his neck and began smashing his head into the ground,” the arrest affidavit stated.
After the slaying, Walker paid someone $40 to drive him to Indiana to pick up Runyon from Littlefield’s home, WISH reported.
Littlefield allegedly gave Walker $2,500 in October to kill Kelley. Text messages apparently showed Littlefield telling Walker on multiple occasions that he failed to do work around the house that she paid him for.
Speaking with police, Walker reportedly explained that “doing work” was Littlefield’s code word for “killing Kelley.”
Walker allegedly admitted to accepting $2,500 from Littlefield and said he spent the money on drugs. However, he reportedly denied having any involvement in Kelley’s murder and said he accepted the money having no intention of carrying out the slaying.
The Indianapolis Star reported that Walker said Littlefield intended to have Runyon take the blame for Kelley’s murder, claiming the pair had a tumultuous relationship. Walker allegedly recounted an instance in which Littlefield asked her daughter if she would be willing to go to prison for the rest of her life. Runyon reportedly told Walker that she planned to go along with the plan.
Littlefield and Runyon were charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder while Walker was charged with conspiracy to commit murder.
Littlefield is due back in court on June 15, a month before her jury trial is scheduled to begin.
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[Featured image: Heidi Littlefield, Logan Runyon, Robert Walker/Carmel Police Department]