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Friend tells jury in doctors’ slayings he didn’t recognize texts as a plea for help right away

Matthias Heidenreich told a jury in the murder trial of Bampumim Teixeira that he had received texts from his friend Dr. Richard Field but didn’t recognize them as a plea for help right away.
Matthias Heidenreich told a jury in the murder trial of Bampumim Teixeira that he had received texts from his friend Dr. Richard Field but didn’t recognize them as a plea for help right away.Faith Ninivaggi/Pool/Pool

The messages were a plea for help from his friends, two anesthesiologists who had been taken hostage inside their penthouse condominium in South Boston.

But Matthias Heidenreich didn’t see the texts until about a half hour after they were sent on the night of May 5, 2017, he told a Suffolk County jury Friday. He was walking to a CVS with his cellphone in his pocket, on silent.

When he got back to his apartment in the Seaport District around 8:15 p.m., he looked at his phone and didn’t immediately understand the messages, which had been sent from the cellphone of Dr. Richard Field. They read: “Call 111, Gun man, In house, Pls, Nw, Eriou, Erious, Serious.”

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“I was confused for the first minutes,” said Heidenreich, a scientist at a pharmaceutical company. He showed the messages to his girlfriend, then texted Field back, “911?”

“I wanted to see whether it was a mistake,” said Heidenreich. When he didn’t hear back, he got worried. His girlfriend called the concierge desk at the Macallen Building, where Field and his fiancee, Dr. Lina Bolaños, lived, then called 911.

Heidenreich took the stand during the second day of testimony in the murder trial of Bampumim Teixeira, 33, who is accused of killing Field and Bolaños. He told jurors that he and his girlfriend jumped in an Uber and rushed to the building, where they saw police cars outside and minutes later heard gunshots. Later that night, police told him that Field and Bolaños had been killed.

Bampumim Teixeira.
Bampumim Teixeira.Faith Ninivaggi/Pool/Pool

said Teixeira handcuffed the doctors and slashed their throats and was attempting to flee with a duffel bag stuffed with Bolaños’s jewelry and other belongings.

He told jurors Teixeira had worked as a concierge at the building for several weeks in 2016 and knew how to bypass security. He said Teixeira lurked outside the building for more than two hours, then snuck in through the garage just before 4 p.m. He then made his way to the 11th floor penthouse through an unlocked stairway.

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When Bolaños arrived home 50 minutes later, Teixeira was waiting, he said. Two packages that Bolaños was carrying were later found strewn in the hallway, along with her keys. Building security footage played for jurors showed Field entering the lobby elevator at 6:38 p.m.

On Friday, jurors also heard testimony that five 911 calls were made from Field’s cellphone between 7:06 p.m. and 7:45 p.m., but four of them didn’t go through because the caller either hung up or was disconnected.

“They were no longer on the line when the call came into the 911 call center,” said Christopher Markunas, director of quality assurance at the Boston Police Department’s 911 operations division.

One call from Field’s phone went through, but the line was silent.

During cross-examination by Teixeira’s attorney, Steven Sack, Markunas acknowledged that police learned only in October that 911 calls had been placed from Field’s cellphone on the night of the slayings. He said he didn’t know whether police tried to track the location of Field’s phone at the time, but said it is currently under investigation.

Markunas said 911 records indicate that the call taker couldn’t determine where the call originated, only the location of the cell tower that relayed the call.

In other testimony, jurors heard from a woman who lived in the second penthouse unit on the 11th floor, next to the one shared by Field and Bolaños. Claudia Mimo, who arrived home that night at 5:28 p.m., said she didn’t notice anything unusual when she got off the elevator, “just that the light was on in their unit,” visible through frosted glass on the door, indicating someone was home.

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She said she didn’t hear any noise outside until around 8:30 p.m., when she heard loud voices, yelling, “Get down on the floor,” followed by five or six gunshots. Later, she discovered a bullet had pierced the wall in her dining room.

“I was panicking,” said Mimo, who told jurors she hid in the bedroom and called 911. She was told police were already there.


Shelley Murphy can be reached at shelley.murphy@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @shelleymurph.