Coroner: Woman found shot to death in alley identified

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Allen County Coroner’s Office identified the woman who was found shot to death in an alley Wednesday evening.

Stephania Bartlett, 30, was found unresponsive in an alley just north of downtown in 2100 block of Sherman Boulevard at 9:19 p.m. Wednesday. The cause of death was determined to be gunshot wounds, the manner of which was ruled a homicide, according to the coroner’s report.

Police were called to an area around the 2100 block of Sherman Boulevard at 9:19 p.m. Wednesday, January 11.
Police were called to an area around the 2100 block of Sherman Boulevard at 9:19 p.m. Wednesday, January 11.

According to FWPD Spokesman Officer Chris Felton police were called to an area after several people called 911 and reported hearing gunshots. One person called 911 and said a woman was down in an alley and appeared to have been shot.

“We were eating supper and we heard couple pop, pop, pops,” neighbor Kathy Eib said. “It was kind of like the sound of firecrackers, which that happens a lot in this neighborhood, so we just didn’t think anything of it and then all of a sudden all the cop cars were verging in.”

Felton said Bartlett was initially reported in critical condition but was pronounced dead by paramedics.

Bloomingdale Neighborhood Association President Bud Mendenhall lives less than a block away from the area Bartlett was found.

“I was in bed watching some TV and I heard them and told my wife, ‘I think that was gunshots’,” Mendenhall said.

He couldn’t believe it when he found out a woman had been shot and killed just steps from his home.

“It surprises me. It really does because we haven’t had any problems in our neighborhood except maybe some car break-ins,” Mendenhall said.

Felton said police do not have any suspect information or any idea what led to the shooting.

A K-9 officer attempted to locate anyone but was unsuccessful. Felton said police will also look at surveillance video from nearby businesses in an effort to see if anything was captured on tape.

Crime scene technicians took photos in the alley and placed several numbered placards near the body. Felton did not have information on what police found in the alley

Felton said Wednesday that police do not know if Bartlett lived in the area.

Anyone with information can call the police department or Crime Stoppers at (260) 436-STOP.

Barlett’s death is the second homicide of the year in Allen County after a man was killed at the Country Hearth Inn and Suites on Goshen Road Tuesday.

Both shootings remain under investigation.