FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – At first, all police found was a bloody shirt and a $20 bill.
Then, two days later, they found his body.
That’s according to newly-released Allen Superior Court documents that detail how investigators uncovered what led to the shooting death of 19-year-old Austin Seiman.
Fort Wayne Police arrested two men Wednesday in connection to Seiman’s death. Police said 18-year-old Nasir Owens and 20-year-old Dimitrius Walker face preliminary charges of murder and arson.
On Sept. 26, FWPD began investigating a reported shooting around 10:15 p.m. They arrived at an undisclosed alley where police found a bloody shirt and a $20 bill, but no victim. Police noted in court documents the shirt was “covered in a significant amount of gravel and debris”, evidence that led police to believe a fight had taken place.
According to court documents, a witness told police he had seen the driver of a car walk up to the victim and they had an argument that turned physical, court documents said. That’s when a passenger also got out of the car and the two began punching and assaulting the victim before three or four gunshots rang out, the witness told police.
The two men left in the car and came back to the alley about 20 minutes later, the witness said in court documents, and it appeared they put a black bag over the third man’s body, took it in the car and left again.
Hours after the shooting, FWPD responded to reports of a car fire in an alley. The car was missing its license plate, but officers were still able to trace the ownership back to the mother of Walker, who had also filed a missing vehicle report.
Court documents said police talked with the mother, who told them Walker had the car last. Officers then spoke to Walker, who said the car had been stolen at a gas station about 30 minutes ago, but police noted in court documents Walker changed his story to say the car was stolen around 10:30 p.m.
Officers confirmed the car that was reported stolen was the same one that went up in flames around 12:30 a.m., and that same car matched the description of the one involved in the shooting just hours beforehand, court documents said.
Surveillance from the gas station- where Walker said the car was stolen- showed the car pull up about an hour before the shooting, and two people identified as Walker and Owens were seen on camera.
Surveillance near Owens’ house showed the car drive up after 11 p.m. just as the SUV left the same driveway. The SUV returned to the driveway nearly an hour later, someone got out and then removed the license plate from the car, court documents said. Just after midnight, both vehicles left the driveway again- the SUV following the car- and the SUV was the only vehicle to return later on.
Police determined the time frames matched the time of the car fire.
Officers watched surveillance from an area near the scene that showed the same car driving in an alley, being followed by an SUV. Just before 12:30 a.m., an explosion could be heard on the surveillance, and it showed two people walking in the alley toward the SUV which appeared to be waiting on them, police noted in court documents.
On Sept. 28, someone kayaking on the Maumee River, near the 800 block of Tecumseh Street, saw a body in the water and called the police. The identity was confirmed to be Seiman.
The Allen County Coroner announced Monday his death had been ruled a homicide due to multiple gunshot wounds.
Police said in court documents they spoke with Seiman’s girlfriend on Tuesday, and she told them he “was ‘probably’ making a play”, also known as a drug deal, just before the shooting. Facebook messages revealed Seiman had planned to meet up with Owens that night.
A hearing is scheduled for both Owens and Walker on Oct. 10.