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Gilman used victim’s phone to contact her family, police say

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 15, 2012, 3:39 p.m.

Triple murder suspect Dustin William Gilman used his victim’s cellphone to text message her husband after he killed her, according to new court documents.

Nick Ader, who was in the hospital with pancreatitis, told police he received two text messages from his wife’s phone at 9:49 a.m. and 9:51 a.m. Friday saying she was taking one of their sons to the hospital because of a fever.

Two minutes later, Gilman, 22, called Ader and said he was going to visit a girl in south Spokane.

Detectives believe all of it was a farce by Gilman, who is suspected of murdering Ader’s wife, Tracy, 32, and her two sons, Damien, 10, and Kadin, 8, in the home he was sharing with them at 4411 N. Whitehouse Street.

The three were dead by the time Gilman arrived at a friend’s home about 10 a.m. in Tracy Ader’s 2007 Nissan Pathfinder, police say. The friend, identified in court documents as Preston Jahanu, provided numbers for two cell phones Gilman was carrying. They belonged to Tracy and Damien Ader.

Documents give no indication of whether Jahanu spoke with Gilman about the murders. Efforts to reach him have been unsuccessful.

Police found the cellphones when they located Gilman’s body Monday in a wooded area north of the city near the Wandemere Bridge. He was dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Ader and her sons, who were students at Willard Elementary School, had been strangled, police say.

Ader was tied to a mattress in the basement with duct tape over her mouth.

The boys’ bodies were found near marijuana plants in the basement. Police believe one of the boys may have been sexually assaulted.

Families of Gilman and the Aders say they have no idea why Gilman would have killed the three. He had been staying with the family for several months and was close to them.

Gilman met the family through his older half-brother, Travis O’Kelly, who is friends with Nick Ader. It was O’Kelly who discovered Tracy Ader’s body after crawling through a dog door about 7 p.m. Nick Ader had been concerned about his wife’s welfare after not hearing from her for several hours.

Police filed a search warrant Monday to search the Aders’ home, which showed they seized a video camera and noted in court documents a surveillance video system that may contain footage was stored within the home. They’ve also filed warrants for Gilman’s cellphone and Tracy and Damien’s phones, as well as the Pathfinder, which was located Sunday near Wellesley Avenue and Monroe Street.

The day the Aders are believed to have been killed, Spokane police were notified by 911 about 6:38 p.m. that Larry Gilman was talking to his son, Dustin Gilman, on the phone and that his son had confessed to shooting someone and said he was lost in the woods.

Larry Gilman told police that his son told him he’d been “partying all night on the South Hill” when he woke up with a gun and a dead person next to him, according to information released Tuesday.

Dustin told his father he was not going back to jail, police say. The conversation ended with several gunshots.

Then at 7:14 p.m., O’Kelly called 911 to report a dead woman at the Whitehouse Street home.