Natalie Bollinger was 19 years old and had the world at her feet. She was inspired to become a nurse and looking forward to starting school. Natalie lived in Broomfield Colorado with her boyfriend Joey.
Natalie was reported missing on December 28th 2017 at approximately 3:30 pm. Joey had returned home from work to find Natalie missing. Natalie’s phone was found in their apartment. Joey also noticed that his gun was missing as well. Joey, being concerned contacted Tim B. Tim is an ex boyfriend of Natalie. Although they were no longer a couple they kept in close contact. Tim was supposed to see Natalie that day for a motorcycle ride.
On December 15th 2017 Natalie had a restraining order served against Shawn S. Shawn is a homeless man that Natalie had befriended when she was 13 years old. Shawn had become increasingly obsessed with Natalie over the past year leading up to her untimely death. Shawn berated her on social media, attacked her family members and friends with his wordy out-lashing Facebook posts. Shawn became very nasty even telling Natalie that he wanted to kill himself in front of her, close enough to where she could feel his warm blood splatter on her.
Excerpt from Natalie’s Facebook regarding her stalker:
“Hey y’all, I have a public announcement… there is a man Shawn Schwartz. I met this man when I was young. I ran into him about 2 years ago. Long story short, I became friends w him. I helped him out w rides and stuff. I moved to VA. He drove across country to see me.. slept behind my work for weeks. When I told him I didn’t want to see him anymore, he sent me hundreds of texts and calls. He parked his car in front of my house, blocking Military Highway for hours… laying on his horn.. he was arrested. Since then, I’ve asked him to leave me alone.. and he won’t. He’s sent emails for over a year close to everyday, harassing me. Making numerous account until I block him again. Threatening my family, telling me he’ll kill himself in front of me, and sending my friends and family harassing messages as well. I’m sharing this because, he’s posting slander about me all over FB. So, if you receive a message… I am sincerely sorry. Please ignore him… it only encourages him when he gets a response(much like a child). He’s mentally ill and I’m trying to fix this.”
Considering the restraining order that Natalie had on Shawn, law enforcement started searching for Natalie within hours of her being reported missing. LE (law enforcement) contacted Shawn and brought him in that day for questioning. Shawn proceeded to continue to bash Natalie over social media while at the same time pleading for people to look for her.
December 29th 2017 Natalie’s body was found on a dirt road leading to McIntosh farm.
Speculation on the Internet went in several different directions. Some felt her stalker had a role in her death, some felt her boyfriend who was MIA from the public had a role, some even felt her fathers’ drug ties could have played a role.
Weeks had gone by with little to no information regarding Natalie’s death. The focus quickly went from Natalie to her stalker and his Internet rants. Shawn even after Natalie passed away kept stalking her. Shawn would go on late night rants about Natalie that infuriated people. Shawn even went as far as posting nasty messages on Natalie’s Facebook page that has now become a remembering Natalie page.
February 8th, 2018 an arrest was made for the murder of Natalie Bollinger. Joseph Michael Lopez a 22 year-old was arrested for Natalie’s murder. This came as a total shock to everyone following the case as Mr. Lopez was not on the radar. Mr. Lopez claims he met Natalie with searching Craigslist. He claims she placed an ad looking for a hit man to kill her.
Natalie and Mr. Lopez exchanged over 100 text messages on the day Natalie went missing. He claims he made a new profile acting as if he was a real hit man. He claims that he picked up Natalie at her apartment and they drove around looking for a place to kill her. He first claimed he backed out and took her home. Only after LE informed him that his cell phone pinged in the location Natalie was found his story changed. Mr. Lopez then claimed that he tried to talk Natalie out of ending her life. He claimed she said she wanted to get away from her boyfriend, yet also claimed she said she didn’t want to hurt her boyfriend either. He claims they spoke about payment for her murder, claiming she gave him the gun (Joey’s gun) as payment. He then claimed that Natalie shot herself. It was finally only after LE informed Mr. Lopez that Natalie was shot from a distance of 1-3 feet, that he finally said he did it. He claims they prayed together and then he shot her in the head, gathered her purse and fled the scene.
Joseph Michael Lopez is being held at the Adams County Jail without bond. There is a preliminary hearing set for April 27th, 2018.
If you would like to keep up to date with this case you can join us on our Facebook page Natalie Bollinger Discussion and theories.