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The Journal Gazette

  • Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette Police investigate a shooting death at Country Hearth Inn on Goshen Road on Tuesday.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 11:50 am

Police investigating suspicious death at inn

Jamie Duffy | The Journal Gazette

Police found a man dead Tuesday in a northwest-side hotel room where a shooting had been reported.

Police were called at 10:55 a.m. Tuesday to Country Hearth Inn and Suites, 2908 Goshen Road, where they found an unresponsive man. Medics and firefighters determined he was deceased, and police are calling the death suspicious.

Reshma and Kamlesh Patel, who own the inn, identified the victim as Eric Antoine Hearn. The inn owners had a copy of Hearn’s driver’s license indicating he was 33 years old and lived in the 1700 block of Edsall Drive.

Police have not identified the victim.

The Patels said two women and a man identifying themselves as Hearn’s cousins asked Reshma Patel to open Room 121 on Tuesday morning. When she did, they found Hearn and called police, the Patels said.

Fort Wayne police said the man rented the room Monday, which the Patels confirmed.

Rooms at the inn rent for $40 a night, the Patels said. There are also weekly rates.

Inside the inn’s vestibule, a white Christmas tree with red ornaments was still up.

Down the hall, toward Room 121, one room had a notice on the door saying the room had been condemned. A police officer sat outside Room 121, a strip of yellow caution tape across the door.

The Patels, who have owned the inn for about three years, said they did not hear gunshots. Police have told them nothing at this point, they added.

The county coroner will officially identify the victim and the cause and manner of his death.

If Hearn’s death is classified a homicide, it will be the first in Allen County this year. Last year, there were a record 48 homicides.