Helman shooting

A memorial was placed at the front door of 9174 East Doswell Drive in Cromwell, where Gary Helman was fatally shot.

CROMWELL, Ind. — The editor of an online news site admitted Thursday that she cooperated with bounty hunters to help confirm the location and identity of a troubled Indiana man upon whom they were attempting to serve a felony warrant.

She did so by scheduling an interview with the man that became part of a tragic timeline of events that concluded with a deadly shootout on Aug. 25 just east of Lake Wawasee.

Following the interview, the bounty hunters — Tadd Martin, 33, of Osceola; Daniel Foster, 43, of LaPorte; and Michael Thomas, 36, of Osceola — attempted to serve an active felony warrant to Gary Helman, 56, at his home in Cromwell for "failure to appear" issued from Kosciusko County.

During an ensuing confrontation, Helman was shot and killed while his twin brother, Larry, and Martin were both seriously injured during a hail of gunfire.

That incident, according to a Kosciusko County Sheriff's report released Thursday, was set up by Staley's interview with Helman at his home and communication she had afterward with Martin confirming Gary Helman's whereabouts and identity.

According to the investigation report, Martin contacted Staley and directed her to set up an interview with Helman at his home. After Staley left, she texted Martin to let him know that Helman, his twin brother and mother, Atta Belle Helman, were there, the report said.

"The bounty hunters contacted me two months ago, at least," Staley told The Goshen News on Thursday. "They also spoke with the (Kosciusko County) Sheriff's Department, who in turn wanted to work with me on it. I said I was not comfortable doing that. I didn't want to be in the middle of it. But I did eventually agree to do the interview, and confirmed that he was living in there, and that is it."

Staley subsequently wrote a series of articles from her interview with Helman that were published in staceypageonline.com. She did not disclose in any of the stories that she was working as an informant. 

Jody Hill of the Kosciusko County prosecutor's office said Thursday that police are continuing their investigation and no charges regarding the incident have been filed.

Information for this story was reported by the Goshen (Ind.) News.

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