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IMPD officer accused of tampering with evidence at death investigation scene

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Posted at 2:49 PM, Nov 30, 2017
and last updated 2022-04-12 22:42:05-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- An IMPD patrol officer was arrested Thursday morning on charges of obstruction of justice and computer trespass for allegedly deleting text messages he sent to the subject of a death investigation.

In a probable cause affidavit filed Thursday, investigators accused Officer Francisco Armando Olmos, 31, of deleting text messages and Snapchats from the phone of an 18-year-old woman who had committed suicide. Investigators also believe Olmos changed his contact information in the woman’s phone to further obscure his connection to the woman.

IMPD said Olmos is a 10-year veteran of the department. He was most recently assigned to the East District.

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According to the affidavit, around 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 2, 2015, Olmos arrived at the woman’s parents’ house looking for her. RTV6 is not identifying the woman to protect her and her family’s privacy.

Shortly after Olmos arrived, it was determine that the woman was dead of apparent suicide in her bedroom.

According to the affidavit, the woman’s father asked Olmos to call another officer, Daniel Bullman, who was the advisor for IMPD Explorer Post #435 at the time. Olmos used the woman’s phone to make the call. It was at that point, investigators believe, that he deleted a series of messages he had sent to the woman in the hours prior to her death.

Investigators say the woman met Olmos while participating in IMPD’s Explorers program, which she joined in December 2013 when she was 16.

Olmos told investigators he met the woman in January 2015 through her participation in the Explorers program. She was 18 at the time they met.

According to Olmos, the woman was on a ride-along with an ambulance crew when he met her. He offered to let her do ride-alongs with him, since he was assigned to East District, which is one of the busiest areas for police in the city.

Olmos told investigators the woman did approximately 15 ride-alongs with him between the time he met her and her death on Nov. 2, 2015.

According to the affidavit, Olmos said he and the woman were friends and that they would sometimes go for runs or do other things together outside of ride-alongs. Olmos denied having an intimate relationship with the woman.

On the day of her death, Olmos said the woman called him around noon. Olmos provided investigators with a summary of that conversation.

“[She said],  ‘I want you to know something,” Olmos told investigators. “I was like, what’s that? She’s like, ‘I want you to know that you’re a really good officer.’ She said, ‘You’re a great officer.’ She said, ‘You’re gonna make a fantastic SWAT officer.’”

Olmos said the woman then told him she couldn’t talk to him anymore, and that “it’s not your fault.”

Olmos said the woman then told him she loved him, which she had never done before, and hung up the phone. He said she did not answer any of his subsequent calls to her.

Other officers who responded to the scene recovered the woman’s phone, but were unable to access it because it was password protected. The woman’s brother told police that was unusual, because their phones were always lying around the house and didn’t have passwords on them.

Olmos declined to let investigators examine his phone, and IMPD did not have access to the technology required to unlock the phone at the time.

In August, IMPD learned a company named Cellebrite Advanced Investigative Services would be able to unlock the phone and potentially recover deleted messages.

The phone was sent to Cellebrite, which was able to recover 12 deleted messages, along with evidence that the phone’s email, messaging and Snapchat apps were accessed at approximately the time Olmos used the woman’s phone on the day of her death. They were also able to determine that Olmos’ contact information in the phone was altered on the day of her death.

According to the affidavit, in several of the messages – which were sent between 12:52 p.m. and 3:47 p.m. on Nov. 2, 2015 – Olmos wrote, “Please don’t do this to me,” and “Don’t do this to me.” In another message Olmos allegedly wrote, “You make me feel like this is really all my fault.” It’s not clear from the affidavit what Olmos was referring to.

Investigators were also able to determine three completed calls were made between Olmos and the woman: a roughly 17-minute call at 2:19 a.m.; a 56-minute call at 7:46 a.m.; and an 11-minute call at 12:39 p.m. Beginning at 12:53 p.m., investigators found an additional 16 calls to the woman from Olmos’ phone that went unanswered.

In addition to messages from Olmos, investigators found 16 incoming Snapchat messages to the woman from Officer Daniel Bullman on the day of her death. Unlike the messages from Olmos, those messages were not deleted, and their content was not revealed in the affidavit.

Bullman was not charged in the case, although both the woman’s and Olmos’ names came up in a case months later in which Bullman was charged with criminal confinement and domestic battery against his estranged wife.

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In an affidavit filed on May 25, 2016, prosecutors charged Bullman with 13 counts ranging from battery in the presence of a child to intimidation to criminal confinement.

As part of her sworn statement in the case, Bullman’s wife told investigators that he had been “involved” with the IMPD Explorer who had died on Nov. 2, 2015.

Bullman’s wife also told investigators he’d said he wanted to go to two other officers, one of whom, allegedly, was Olmos, and put a “bullet in their heads.”

Bullman was suspended without pay following his arrest in May 2016 and is currently awaiting a trial scheduled for Dec. 18.

Following the recovery of data from the phone, officers from IMPD’s Special Investigations Unit obtained a warrant for Olmos’ arrest on charges of obstruction of justice and computer trespass.

As of Thursday afternoon, Olmos was being held at the Marion County Jail on a $10,000 surety bond. An initial hearing in the case was scheduled for Friday morning.

IMPD said Olmos had been placed on immediate suspension with a recommendation for termination by Chief Bryan Roach.

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