Chesterton Tribune



Hobart man charged with fatal shooting November 18 of Portage woman in her home

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A Hobart resident and former Hammond police officer has been charged with the murder of Tiara Thomas, who was found shot multiple times in her apartment on Old Porter Road in Portage on the morning of Nov. 18.

Thomas, 35, was pronounced dead at Methodist Hospital’s Northlake Campus in Gary, about an hour after her fiance found her on the floor of their bedroom.

Kevin Alexander Campbell, 31, the father of Thomas’ three children, was formally charged with murder late Wednesday and a warrant issued for his arrest.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed by Portage PD Det. Dennis Meyers, Thomas’ fiance was immediately eliminated as a suspect, after investigators verified that he’d been working his usual midnight shift in Hammond until 7 a.m. and that Thomas had texted him at 4:58 a.m. Thomas’ fiance typically arrived home from work around 7:25 a.m. and in fact that’s when he made the 911 call on the morning of Nov. 18, Meyers said.

A combination of factors apparently led investigators to turn their attention to Campbell. Among other things, Campbell was paying Thomas $1,500 per month in child support, the two of them “argued about the child support amount and how the money was spent,” Campbell’s own account balance at his credit union was $7.58 on Oct. 3, his personal vehicle had recently been repossessed with Hammond PD property inside, and “numerous voice mails from creditors” were found on his phone, Meyers stated in his affidavit.

Also: on the night before Thomas was shot, Campbell had their three children at his home in Hobart for a sleepover, which Thomas’ fiance indicated “was very unusual” as it was a school night and Campbell “would have to get up early to drive the children back to Portage to school,” Meyer stated.

Campbell did in fact drive their three children to school, one of whom told investigators that “on the way to school that morning his father stopped the vehicle at a park and removed a bag that he took to an unknown location in the park,” Meyer stated. “When he returned, he was not carrying the bag. Portage Police searched the park but did not find the bag.”

Campbell himself denied any stop at a park but, based on information provided by his son, the park in question was Columbus Park in Lake Station, Meyers stated, and a homeowner who lives near the park reported seeing a truck “strongly resembling the truck driven by Kevin Campbell” on the morning of the shooting. That truck was registered to Campbell’s father.

Campbell also denied leaving his home in the early morning hours of Nov. 18, before taking the children to school, but a security system in place at his Hobart residence recorded the front door to the home being opened at 4:37 a.m. that day and again at 5:55 a.m., Meyers stated.

Finally, although Campbell turned off his cell phone’s GPS location function at 3:30 a.m. on the day of the murder, Verizon provided data indicating that, at 5:38 a.m., his phone received data from a cell tower located at 1376 Crisman Road, approximately 6,500 feet from Thomas’ residence.

“Based upon a timeline I prepared, which included all times and location information that could be verified, Kevin Campbell would have had sufficient time to leave his residence at 4:37 a.m., drive 13 miles to Portage, shoot Tiara Thomas, have his phone ping the cell tower at 1376 Crisman at 5:38 a.m. and return home at 5:55 a.m. in time to ready the children for school,” Meyers stated.

Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford ordered Campbell, on his arrest, to be held without bond.



Posted 12/3/2015




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