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An Indiana woman has been accused of lacing her ex-boyfriend’s oatmeal with fentanyl and then strangling him to death with his favorite tie amid a heated custody battle for the couple’s young daughter.
Heidi Marie Littlefield, 41, is now facing charges of murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit murder in the death of 46-year-old Francis Kelley.
Littlefield is accused of conspiring with her adult daughter, Logan Runyon, 22, and her daughter’s boyfriend, Robert James Walker, 29, to carry out the plot that killed Kelley, who was found dead Jan. 18 in his home in Carmel, People reports.
Runyan has also been charged with murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder while Walker is facing two counts of conspiracy to commit murder, according to a statement from Carmel Police.
Kelley’s body was discovered on the couch at his Carmel home after police were asked to do a welfare check at the home. Another former girlfriend of Kelley had reached out to authorities after he failed to pick up their 9-year-old daughter for his birthday.
An autopsy would later determine the 46-year-old died of asphyxia due to manual strangulation/neck compression, according to a probable cause statement obtained by the local outlet Current in Carmel. Kelley had also suffered blunt force trauma to the head and had injuries to his hand, elbow and knees. A toxicology report also found high levels of the synthetic opioid fentanyl in his system.
At the time of his death, Kelley and Littlefield had been in a heated custody battle over the couple’s 2-year-old daughter, People reports.
Walker allegedly told police that Runyon and Littlefield had told him that they had spiked Kelley’s oatmeal with fentanyl while they were at his home on Jan. 14, according to the affidavit also obtained by People.
The next day, Kelley sent Littlefield a text message accusing her of tampering with the food.
“Did you do something to the oatmeal that was in my fridge,” he texted her, according to the affidavit. “You were in my fridge last night and it tasted funny after a couple of bites and now I am light headed.”
Littlefield denied doing anything sinister to the oatmeal in her response.
“Who tf puts oatmeal in a fridge? I don’t know anything you do or want to! Your life and the stuff you say/do is beyond me,” she allegedly texted back.
She replied back several times, but her two final messages were never opened, authorities said.
An ex-boyfriend of Littlefield later told police that she told him “Logan put fentanyl in Fran’s oatmeal sometime on January 14th,” the affidavit alleges.
Littlefield also allegedly told her ex that she and Runyan had gone to Kelley’s home the next day and crawled through a window when he didn’t answer the door.
“Heidi advised [ex-boyfriend] that Heidi and Logan found Fran ‘aspirating’ on the kitchen floor,” the affidavit said. “[Ex-boyfriend] advised that Heidi also mentioned a lanyard around Fran’s neck, and it being involved in the incident.”
According to the account Walker gave to investigators, Runyon told him that Littlefield had “grabbed Fran’s ‘favorite tie’ and tried to strangle him and smash his head into the ‘pavement,’” according to the affidavit. “Walker stated ‘Heidi bludgeoned his head against the floor.’”
He told police that Littlefield had tried to enlist his help with an alleged murder plot several months earlier to find “someone to take of ‘her problem,’” authorities said.
She reportedly paid him $2,500 in October to hire someone to carry out the hit but Walker “spent it on drugs and had no intention of doing what she asked,” the affidavit alleges. He was reportedly supposed to get another $2,500 after Kelley was killed.
Walker said Littlefield had claimed that Kelley was abusive to her and her baby and that “she would be failing her daughter if the dude didn’t end up dead,” authorities said.
The former couple had reportedly been slated to appear in court for a hearing on Jan. 27 to discuss Kelley’s allegation that Littlefield had been violating the parenting time order.
“The main concern was Heidi was not allowing Fran to pick up his child and that she would stay in his house during parenting time,” police said.
In the days following Kelley’s death, police said Littlefield made a series of disturbing statements to a relative, telling the individual “He’s better off dead” and “I might as well say I did it and just say I’m crazy and pregnant,” according to the affidavit.
She is slated to appear in court for a pre-trial hearing on June 15.
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