A popular Cleveland journalist was found dead along with a relative on Monday, PEOPLE confirms.
Police said they are investigating the deaths of Nicole Delamotte, 30, and her 67-year-old relative Robert Delamotte but have not yet said how the pair died. Police said they are awaiting autopsy results.
Delamotte, the author of the 2016 book 100 Things To Do in Cleveland Before You Die, wrote for Cleveland.com, which provides content to The Plain Dealer Newspaper.
“Our newsroom is deeply shocked and grief-stricken at our colleague’s untimely passing,” the paper’s editorial board said in a statement. “Most of us cannot believe anyone that exceptional, that nice, that thoughtful, with gifts beyond her years, can be gone so soon. But measured by the many, many people Nikki touched, she isn’t gone in memory. Not by a long shot.”
According to the Plain Dealer, Nicole Delamotte was Robert Delamotte’s niece, and the pair had recently reconnected after the death of her maternal grandmother. Her mother, JoAnne Ullman, told the paper her daughter had plans to meet up with him at a bar on Sunday to watch the Miami Dolphins vs. Green Bay Packers football game.
“So she was going [to] go over and they were going go to some neighborhood bar and watch the game,” Ullman said.
When Delamotte didn’t return a text message from her mother later that night, Ullman filed a missing person report. Ullman told the paper she went to Robert Delamotte’s Perrysburg Township trailer and discovered her daughter’s car with her cell phone and wallet inside. Once police arrived, she was told that the pair was dead.
Delamotte was known for writing about Cleveland’s diverse communities, including its artists and musicians. Her last feature focused on a Latino supermarket that expanded its in-store restaurant. In another story, she delved into mental health and addiction issues in Northeast Ohio’s restaurant and service industries.
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She was also a favorite among her colleagues.
“What I appreciated most were the unique perspectives she brought to brainstorm sessions — her ability to make me see things I would not have considered otherwise,” Cleveland.com editor Chris Quinn said, according to the paper. “She had strong positions and backed down from no one, but she did so with gentleness and, always, respect. She was such a bright light, and Cleveland has a dimmer future for her loss.”
“I’ve never met a journalist with a kinder heart,” Cleveland.com entertainment editor Mike Norman said.
“I’ve never met anyone with as much empathy as Nikki, and I wanted to be more like her,” entertainment reporter Anne Nickoloff said. “I still want to be more like her.”
Before she joined Cleveland.com in 2016, Delamotte wrote for Cleveland Scene, an alternative weekly newspaper.
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