GARY — A Hammond woman, her fiance and their friend went out to celebrate the fiance's birthday Saturday and never returned, a family member said.
Heather Talley, 27, of Hammond, was found shot to death early Sunday on the city's far east side, near the Lake Station border.
Her fiance, Darius Ross, 28, of Gary, and the couple's friend Nicholas Edwards, 28, of Gary, were found shot to death hours later in the city's downtown area.
Heather Talley was a fun-loving person who made everyone smile, sister Jackquelynn Talley said.
She was a wonderful person, and often baby-sat for Jackquelynn Talley's children.
"My daughters were like her daughters," she said.
Heather Talley worked at a Highland gas station, but had taken time off recently for an emergency back surgery.
"Everyone loved her," Jackquelynn Talley said.
Heather Talley's fiance meant everything to her, she said.
"It's so sad," she said. "They were murdered. They were violently murdered. It's so sad."
Police found Talley about 4:20 a.m. Sunday after responding to the 2500 block of Central Avenue for a welfare check.
About 8 a.m. Sunday, Gary police were dispatched to the area of West Ninth Avenue and Harrison Street for reports of a suspicious vehicle.
Inside the vehicle, officers found the bodies of two men who died from gunshot wounds.
Anyone with information about the homicides is asked to call Detective Alexander Jones, of the Lake County/Gary Metro Homicide Unit, at 219-545-5442 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To remain anonymous, call 866-CRIME-GP.