A 15-year-old Lincoln girl and her 16-year-old boyfriend have been arrested for the alleged murder of the girl’s 70-year-old father, who police found stabbed to death Monday afternoon after the girl called 911, according to authorities.
Sallie Gilmer called just after 4 p.m. Monday and told officers she had come home from school to find her father, Jesse Gilmer Jr., unconscious with stab wounds in his apartment near South 40th Street and Nebraska 2, Lincoln Police Chief Teresa Ewins said .
Police found Jesse Gilmer Jr. dead at the Lodge Apartments, his injuries caused by a bladed instrument, and took Sallie Gilmer in for questioning, Ewins said at a news conference Tuesday.
Police later found the girl’s boyfriend, Isaac Honigschmidt, and took him into custody, Ewins said.
Authorities arrested Sallie Gilmer on suspicion of first-degree murder. Honigschmidt was arrested on suspicion of being an accessory to first-degree murder.
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“Obviously, it’s — this is disturbing to a lot of people in the community because of the nature of it,” Ewins said, adding that a suspected motive remains unclear even to investigators.
“We’re still trying to figure it out,” the police chief said. “Obviously, a daughter killing her father is hard to understand. And so we’re trying to piece it together. We don’t have a solid answer yet.”
Lancaster County District Attorney Pat Condon said the two teenagers would be charged as adults, although formal charges likely won’t come until Wednesday, he said.
It’s unclear whether Sallie Gilmer lived in the apartment with her father full-time, Ewins said. Jesse Gilmer Jr. and his wife listed the apartment as their mailing address in court records as late as 2022. Attempts to contact the victim’s wife Tuesday were unsuccessful.
Investigators found a suspected murder weapon in the apartment, said Ewins, who noted that crime scene technicians were still searching the device to rule out or find additional weapons.
Both Sallie Gilmer and Honigschmidt attend Lincoln Southeast High School, a Lincoln Public Schools spokesman said.
In an email to students and parents, Principal Tanner Penrod said members of the district’s crisis response team were on hand at the school Tuesday “to provide additional support to staff and students who needed it.” Penrod said the crisis team would be available again Wednesday.
The death of Jesse Gilmer Jr. marks Lincoln’s 10th homicide this year and the 12th on record in Lancaster County, which had eight in all of 2021.
At Tuesday’s press conference, Ewins faced renewed questions about the apparent spike in violence this summer in Lincoln, with 10 homicides since May 19 after zero in the first 138 days of the year.
The police chief noted that violent crime rates have actually dropped in Lincoln this year — a claim backed by more than three decades of data that has seen Lincoln’s violent crime reports remain nearly stagnant since 1989, even as the city has grown by about 100,000 inhabitants.
And in his defense of the city and its police department, Ewins pointed to the bizarre and unpredictable nature of Jesse Gilmer Jr.’s murder, allegedly carried out by his teenage daughter.
“There’s only so much we can do,” she said. “Because events like the one we’re talking about today – the reason behind the chief doctor, we don’t know.
“But the daughter murdered her father. Can we stop it? Not necessarily.”
The spree of local killings began on May 19 when Henry Lee Jones, 57, died after he was attacked outside his home near 28th and F streets. Prosecutors charged 32-year-old Derrick Pearson and 31-year-old Briana Jelinek with manslaughter and first-degree assault for their alleged roles in Jones’ slaying.
Days after Jones’ death, 42-year-old Patricio Urias and 26-year-old Zachariah Palomo were shot to death in a duplex near 30th and P streets. In court records, Lincoln Police investigators said the two men shot each other.
Austin Gress, 26, was stabbed to death on July 1 amid what police said was “something of a mutual struggle” at a gas station near 27th and Dudley streets. Police later arrested and charged Steven A. Alexander with manslaughter, first-degree assault and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony following a three-day manhunt in Lincoln.
Gene Oltman, 78, was found dead July 11 at his home southwest of Lincoln. The sheriff’s office ruled his death a homicide a day later after an autopsy confirmed he died of blunt force trauma. No arrests have been made in Oltman’s death.
Police found 61-year-old Ronald George stabbed to death in a lot near the city’s homeless shelter on August 31. The investigation into George’s death led to a local motel where police found the remains of 49-year-old Ronnie Patz.
Prosecutors charged William T. Wright with second-degree murder in the deaths of George and Patz.
Jasimin Champion, a 36-year-old who was from Indiana but lived in Lincoln, was stabbed to death in a mobile home park in North Lincoln on September 20. Less than 12 hours after the stabbing, police arrested 61-year-old Charles Alexander, who was charged with second-degree murder.
Robert Brannon, 33, of Omaha, was shot at least five times outside a downtown strip club on Sept. 25. Prosecutors charged Jahhrasta S. Fletcher, a 22-year-old Lincoln man and the boyfriend of a performer at the club, with first-degree murder in Brannon’s death.
And police found 48-year-old Robert Aguirre dead in a bathtub at a home in northeast Lincoln on Sept. 29 while performing a welfare check. Also in the house, officers found 35-year-old Joshua Larsen, Aguirre’s intimate partner, who was later charged with manslaughter, first-degree domestic assault and terroristic threats.
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