Triple-homicide suspect Dustin William Gilman used one of the victim’s cellphones to send a text message to her husband after she’d been killed, 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 called Ader and said he was going to visit a girl in south Spokane.
Detectives believe all of it was a ruse by Gilman, who they believe killed 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 St.
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 said. The friend, identified in court documents Wednesday as Preston Jahanu, provided numbers for two cellphones Gilman was carrying. They belonged to Tracy and Damien Ader.
Documents give no indication of whether Jahanu spoke with Gilman about the murders. Efforts by The Spokesman-Review 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 Wandermere Road bridge. He was dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, police said.
Ader and her sons, who were students at Willard Elementary School, had been strangled, police said.
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 said 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 a friend of Nick Ader. O’Kelly 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.