Robert James Delamotte was the uncle of Cleveland.com reporter Nikki Delamotte. Both were found dead from gunshot wounds on Monday, November 12, 2018, in his mobile home.
Police have confirmed that Robert Delamotte shot and killed his niece before turning the gun on himself. The case has been ruled a murder-suicide.
Nikki Delamotte’s mother, Joanna Ullman, told Cleveland.com that her daughter had been trying to reconnect with her uncle at the time of their deaths. A picture of Robert Delamotte was not immediately available.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Coroner: Nikki Delamotte Was Shot Three Times & Robert Delamotte Shot Himself in the Head
The Lucas County Coronoer’s office revealed that Nikki Delamotte was shot in the chest, head and forehead. Her uncle appears to have then shot himself in the head.
After the two bodies were found, officers at first would only reveal that the victims were a 30-year-old woman and a 67-year-old man. They also shared that the two victims were related, as niece and uncle. Nikki Delamotte’s mother, Joanne Ullman, was the first to confirm the identities of the victims to Nikki’s employer.
Nikki was seen entering Robert’s mobile home after 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 11 and never came out. Police said it’s unclear when the shooting occurred, because the security footage did not have sound.
2. Nikki Delamotte’s Mother: Nikki Had Been Trying to Reconnect With Her Father’s Side of the Family at the Time of Her Death
Joanne Ullman told Cleveland.com that Nikki had been inspired to reconnect with her father’s side of the family following the death of her maternal grandmother. Her parents had divorced when Nikki was younger and she hadn’t had much contact with her father’s relatives in the years that followed.
Nikki reached out to her uncle, Robert Delamotte, in October. Ullman said that the two spoke a few times and had planned to watch a football game together on Sunday, November 11. The plan was for Nikki to drive from her home in Cleveland to Perrysburg Township, which is about 100 miles west of Cleveland, near Toledo.
Ullman said that Nikki came over to her house before heading to Perrysburg Township, and told her of her plans for the day. But Nikki never returned home that night and did not respond to texts. Ullman called police to report Nikki missing early Monday morning.
3. Robert Delamotte Lived in a Mobile Home Community South of Toledo & Neighbors Described Him as ‘Quiet’
67-year-old Robert James Delamotte lived at the Friendly Village mobile home park. It is located in Perrysburg Township in Wood County, Ohio. The township lies halfway between the city of Toledo and Bowling Green State University.
Local reporters shared pictures from the scene on Tuesday, November 13. Crime scene tape still encircled the property where Robert Delamotte’s lived.
Concerned neighbors spoke with Toledo station WTOL following the deaths. Sharon Nagle described the situation as “weird” to the news outlet. “We know the guy, Bob, I think his name is Bob. I feel bad for the family because they were trying to get back together from what I understood.”
Another neighbor, Raymond Wilcox, told Cleveland.com that he was under the impression that Robert had retired the year prior from a job as a forklift operator. He said Robert had seemed like a “quiet and decent person.”
4. Robert Delamotte Did Not Have a Criminal Record & a Motive for the Shooting Was Unknown
The deaths were being investigated by the Perrysburg Township police department. It’s been ruled a murder-suicide.
Robert Delamotte was a resident of Perrysburg Township but little other information is found online about him. He does not have a criminal history. The only that comes up in an online search is a 2009 speeding ticket.
He was born in September of 1951 and appears to have spent the majority of his life in northwestern Ohio.
5. Nikki Delamotte Was a Beloved Reporter in Cleveland Covering Arts & Culture
Heartfelt tributes to Nikki Delamotte have flooded social media. She was a graduate of Cleveland State University and had been working for Cleveland.com, the online version of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, since mid-2016. She covered the food scene, music, and human interest stories. The newspaper issued an editorial commemorating their colleague. It read in part:
“Nikki Delamotte was the new friend you’d known forever. She was that warm, that giving, that caring – and that much fun to be around… how could anyone kill someone so good, so kind, who uplifted all of us through her writing and celebrated all that was good, quirky and delicious about Cleveland? Nikki, so humble about her personal gifts, specialized in uncovering hidden gems and those less-well-known people we found we all wanted to know. She loved cats, and dogs, stuffed animals and humankind in almost equal measure, and deeply loved her family, including her recently deceased, adored grandmother.”
Delamotte’s boyfriend thanked well-wishers on social media for their kind words, and wrote this about his Nikki:
“Thank you everyone for all the kind posts and comments. Know that she truly cared about her writing and telling your stories and that promoting your business or labor of love or endeavor was never about her and always about you. It was never just a job to her.
Every morning she would giggle and try to get me to stay in bed and pull on my arm or squeeze me so tight at the door so I couldn’t leave. I would always hug and kiss her and meow at her but didn’t want to make her feel the tug of home when it was she who had to leave me at home. Yesterday was the first time in awhile that I told her I wished she could just stay home and snuggle and watch Bob’s Burgers. I didn’t want her to go. I’ve never felt this kind of pain and confusion in my life. I am at a complete loss of understanding. She burned brighter than any star I’ve ever seen. She was as good a human as one can be.
I love you to the end of the Universe, Kittenhead. I hope there are a million cute baby animals wherever you are.”