Wednesday, November 18, 2015

11182015 - Tiara Thomas OIDV Murder, Portage Indiana - Hammond Indiana Police Officer Kevin Campbell Charged With Murder



Tiara Thomas





Trial for ex-cop accused of killing former girlfriend moved to January
Post-Tribune (IN)
July 11, 2017
www.newsbank.com
At a hearing Monday, a Porter County judge pushed an August trial for a former police officer accused of killing his ex-girlfriend to January.

Kevin Campbell, 32, previously pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in connection with the 2015 shooting death of the mother of his three children, Tiara Thomas, 30.

Thomas was found with gunshot wounds to her chest, head and both wrists the morning of Nov. 18, 2015, at the Portage apartment she shared with her fiance in the Park Place apartment complex.

She died a short time later at a Gary hospital.

Campbell was scheduled to begin a three-week jury trial Aug. 8, and his attorney, Susan Marie Severtson, said Monday there are 55 anticipated witnesses. Given the lengthy list of witnesses filed by the prosecution last month and "complicated circumstantial evidence" in the case, Severtson asked Monday the trial be continued.

Severtson also said attorneys were "cautiously optimistic" they'd be able to get through all of the witnesses in the three weeks allotted for the trial.

Judge Roger Bradford then pushed the trial to January and added a fourth week. The trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 9, lasting three days a week for four weeks, according to Bradford.

Campbell is scheduled to appear for a pretrial hearing Dec. 11.

When Campbell was arrested, Portage police said there may have been a financial motive involved. Campbell's vehicle had been repossessed and he and Thomas argued about child support payments, according to charging documents.

Police also found numerous voice mails from creditors on Campbell's cellphone, and he had a bank account balance of $7.58 when Thomas died, court documents said.

Campbell was terminated from the Hammond Police Department five days after Thomas' body was discovered. He previously worked as an officer with the Gary Police Department.

Campbell is being held in the Porter County Jail without bond.










Trial date set for ex-officer charged in slaying of woman
Associated Press State Wire: Indiana (IN)
January 24, 2017
www.newsbank.com
VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — An August trial date has been set for a former Hammond and Gary police officer charged in the death of the mother of three of his children.

Kevin Campbell of Hobart has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in the shooting death of his former girlfriend, 30-year-old Tiara Thomas. He's being held without bond.

At a hearing Monday in Porter County Court, Campbell's trial was scheduled to begin Aug. 8.

Authorities say phone records indicated Campbell and Thomas argued over nearly $1,500 in child support he paid and that creditors were calling him.

Police also found numerous voicemails from creditors on Campbell's cellphone, and he had a bank account balance of $7.58 when Thomas died.

Campbell was fired by the Hammond Police Department days after Thomas' body was discovered.










Former cop charged in shooting death gets trial date
Post-Tribune (IN)
January 24, 2017
www.newsbank.com
A summer trial date has been set for a former Hammond and Gary police officer accused of killing the mother of his three children in 2015.

Kevin Campbell has pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder in the shooting death of his former girlfriend, Tiara Thomas, 30, in Porter County Superior Court and is being held without bond.

At a hearing Monday, Campbell's trial was scheduled to begin Aug. 8, going a few days a week for three weeks, concluding Aug. 24. He also has hearings scheduled for April 24 and July 10.

Thomas was found with gunshot wounds to her chest, head and both wrists the morning of Nov. 18, 2015, at the Portage apartment she shared with her fiance in the 5900 block of Old Porter Road in the Park Place apartment complex. She died a short time later at a Gary hospital.

When Campbell was arrested, Portage police said there may have been a financial motive involved. Campbell's vehicle was repossessed, and he and Thomas argued about child support payments, according to charging documents. Police also found numerous voice mails from creditors on Campbell's cellphone, and he had a bank account balance of $7.58 when Thomas died, court documents said.

Campbell was terminated from the Hammond Police Department five days after Thomas' body was discovered. He previously worked as an officer with the Gary Police Department.










Former cop to stand trial Aug. 8 for murder
NWI Times
Jan 23, 2017
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/former-cop-to-stand-trial-aug-for-murder/article_3f021691-5a7c-51cb-880f-a04c46f6670e.html

VALPARAISO — An Aug. 8 trial has been scheduled for a former Hammond and Gary police officer charged with murdering the mother of three of his children.

The trial involving Kevin Campbell was scheduled out over three weeks after Porter County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Matt Frost said it could go for as long as 10 days.

Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford hears trials on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday so as not to interfere with the routine court call.

Campbell, 32, is charged with killing Tiara Thomas, 30, who was found covered in blood about 7:30 a.m. Nov. 18, 2015, in her unit at Park Place Apartments, 5970 Old Porter Road in Portage. She died later at the hospital.

Court records allege Campbell shot Thomas sometime between 4:37 a.m. and 5:55 a.m., then took their three children to school.

The couple's oldest child, a middle school student, reportedly told investigators that on the way to school that morning, they stopped at Columbus Park in Lake Station, where Campbell dumped a bag the child believed contained shoes and other unknown items at the park. Police have not recovered the bag.

Campbell kept the three children overnight the night before Thomas was killed, which was unusual, according to court records. He allegedly requested his oldest child bring him a key to the apartment nearly two weeks before the killing.

There was no forced entry into Thomas' apartment the morning she was killed, according to the court document.

The affidavit states Campbell paid Thomas nearly $1,500 per month in child support and the two often argued about the money and how it was spent. The charges indicate Campbell was in debt and his vehicle had been repossessed.

Campbell made an unsuccessful attempt this past summer to be released on bond while his case proceeds.

While Bradford agreed with the defense that there may not be a lot of physical evidence linking him to the crime, he said the presumption of his guilt is strong based on circumstantial evidence and that is enough to justify continuing to hold Campbell without bond.

A status hearing in the case was scheduled for April 24, with a pre-trial conference July 10.










No bail for former cop accused in Portage slaying
Post-Tribune (IN)
July 20, 2016
www.newsbank.com
There will be no bail set for a former Hammond police officer accused of murdering the mother of his three children Nov. 8 in Portage.

On Monday, Porter Superior Judge Roger Bradford denied the bond request for Kevin Alexander Campbell, 32, of the 6100 block of Wisconsin Street in Hobart, despite this being the first case in Porter County to address bond for murder under 2013 Indiana Supreme Court decisions.

Bradford said that until minutes before the hearing began, he hadn't known that 2013 court decisions changed legislation that denies bail bonds for murder suspects and now puts the burden of proof in bond hearings on the prosecution.

However, in keeping with the new provisions, "I'm not going so far as saying the proof is evident, but it seems the presumption is strong," he said.

Lisa Mays, the mother of the deceased Tiara Thomas, said "thank God" and began crying loudly when Bradford announced his decision.

She was comforted for the rest of the hearing by family members who also supported her on the way out of court.

Defense attorney Susan Severtson had argued the prosecution had no solid forensic evidence, such as fingerprints, blood or DNA, that Campbell was at the scene of the murder, Thomas' apartment on Old Porter Road. Evidence presented Monday was "based on hearsay," Severtson said.

Portage Detective Lt. Dennis Meyers testified that Campbell had the three kids on a school night, which was a rarity, and that Campbell had turned the GPS off on his cellphone early in the morning, long before Thomas was found by her fiance about 7 a.m.

Meyers also testified that Campbell was in financial trouble and paid $1,495 a month in child support and that police drove one of the children around Lake Station to identify a park that Campbell allegedly stopped at while driving them to school.

The child said it was to throw away a brown bag that included shoes, Meyers said.

Severtson objected to the police working with the child without parental permission, but Bradford allowed it because, as Porter County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Matt Frost said, the child wasn't a suspect.










No bond for former cop in Portage murder case
Bob Kasarda
Jul 18, 2016
NWI Times
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/crime-and-court/no-bond-for-former-cop-in-portage-murder-case/article_10c11b42-0432-534c-8706-be5f48312fb8.html


VALPARAISO — A judge agreed with the defense Monday there may not be a lot of physical evidence linking former Hammond and Gary police officer Kevin Campbell to the slaying of his children’s mother.

But the presumption of his guilt is strong based on circumstantial evidence and that is enough to justify continuing to hold Campbell without bond while his case proceeds, said Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford.

“Thank you, Jesus,” someone said aloud in the courtroom after Bradford announced his decision.

The decision came after about an hour of testimony from Portage police Detective Lt. Dennis Meyers, who summarized the prosecutor’s case against 32-year-old Campbell.

Campbell is charged with killling Tiara Thomas, 30, who was found covered in blood about 7:30 a.m. Nov. 18 in her unit at Park Place Apartments, 5970 Old Porter Road in Portage. She died later at the hospital.

Court documents point to arguments over child support and other money-related matters as a motive.

Defense attorney Susan Severtson asked for a bond Monday, arguing the case against her client is weak and his incarceration is hindering preparation for trial.

“It doesn’t show the court the evidence is strong,” she said of the detective’s testimony.

During questioning from Severtson, Meyers testified there were no fingerprints or other bodily evidence from Campbell found at the crime scene.

None of Campbell’s weapons were linked to the shooting, he said, and none of Thomas’ neighbors saw Campbell at the apartment at the time of the shooting.

Severtson downplayed evidence from Campbell’s son that his father threw a bag away at Columbus Park in Lake Station. The bag was never found, Severtson said, and neither was a key to Thomas’ apartment that Campbell’s 11-year-old son reportedly said his father asked him to bring along ahead of the shooting.

What police did discover is that while Campbell claimed to have been at home in Hobart at the time of the shooting, records show his cellphone active in Portage, Meyers said.

His home security system also recorded his front door opening and closing before the suspected time of the shooting and then again following the shooting, Meyers said.

Meyers said witnesses also said it was unusual that Campbell, rather than their mother, had the children on the day of her shooting, which was a school night.

Campbell also told police he had the same clothes on the entire day of the shooting, but his son disagreed, Meyers said.

Bradford scheduled the next hearing in the case for Sept. 26.










No bail for ex-cop accused in Portage slaying
Post-Tribune
July 18, 2016 - 6:01PM

There will be no bail set for a former Hammond police officer accused of murdering the mother of his three children in Portage on Nov. 18.

On Monday, Porter Superior Judge Roger Bradford denied the bond request for Kevin Alexander Campbell, 32, of the 6100 block of Wisconsin Street in Hobart, despite this being the first case in Porter County to address bond for murder under 2013 Indiana Supreme Court decisions.

Bradford said that until minutes before the hearing began, he hadn't known that 2013 Court decisions changed legislation that denies bail bond for murder suspects and now puts the burden of proof in bond hearings on the prosecution.

However, in keeping with the new provisions, "I'm not going so far as saying the proof is evident, but it seems the presumption is strong," he said.

Lisa Mays, the mother of the deceased Tiara Thomas, said "thank God" and began crying loudly when Bradford announced his decision.

She was comforted for the rest of the hearing by family members who also supported her on the way out of court.

Defense attorney Susan Severtson had argued the prosecution had no solid forensic evidence, such as fingerprints, blood or DNA, that Campbell was at the scene of the murder, Thomas' apartment on Old Porter Road.

Evidence presented Monday was "based on hearsay," Severtson said.

Portage Detective Lt. Dennis Meyers testified that Campbell had the three kids on a school night, which was a rarity, and that Campbell had turned the GPS off on his cellphone early in the morning, long before Thomas was found by her fiancé about 7 a.m.

Meyers also testified that Campbell was in financial trouble and paid $1,495 a month in child support and that police drove one of the children around Lake Station to identify a park that Campbell allegedly stopped at while driving them to school.

The child said it was to throw away a brown bag that included shoes, Meyers said.

Severtson objected to the police working with the child without parental permission, but Bradford allowed it because, as Porter County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Matt Frost said, the child wasn't a suspect.










No bond for former cop accused in Portage killing
Post-Tribune (IN) 
December 5, 2015
Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford entered a preliminary plea of not guilty on a felony murder charge Friday for a former Hammond and Gary police officer accused of killing the mother of three of his children.

Kevin Campbell, 31, of the 6100 block of Wisconsin Street in Hobart, is charged in the Nov. 18 shooting death of his former girlfriend, Tiara Thomas, 30.

She was shot to death in the Portage apartment she shared with her fiance, Marqtell Robinson.

Campbell is being held without bond.

Merrillville attorney Roy Dominguez, the former Lake County sheriff, is representing Campbell. His wife, Alicia Campbell, and his father, Kent Campbell, attended the brief hearing. They declined to comment afterward.

Porter County Prosecutor Brian Gensel is handling the case for the state.

Campbell, wearing an orange jumpsuit and with his hands in handcuffs in front of him, appeared via video in a room at the Porter County Jail with seven other inmates.

Campbell repeatedly answered, "Yes, your honor," as Bradford asked him if he understood the allegations against him and the penalties he would face if found guilty. Campbell faces 45 to 65 years in prison if convicted.

Bradford also issued a no-contact order between Campbell and his children, ages 11, 8 and 5.

No trial date was set during the hearing, but a status hearing was scheduled for 9 a.m. Feb. 8 and a pretrial conference for 9 a.m. March 7.

Campbell was taken into custody shortly before 6 a.m. Thursday. He was arrested outside his home in Hobart as he left to take his wife to work.

Police have said Campbell might have had a financial motive for his alleged crime.

According to charging documents, Campbell's vehicle had been repossessed, and he and Thomas argued about his payment of $1,495 a month in child support and how the money was spent. He had a bank account balance of $7.58 at the time of Thomas' death, and police found numerous voice mails from creditors on his cellphone, court documents said.

Thomas was discovered with several gunshot wounds around 7:30 a.m. Nov. 18 when Robinson found her after he returned from work to their apartment in the 5900 block of Old Porter Road in the Park Place apartment complex.

She died a short time later at Methodist Hospital Northlake Campus in Gary. She suffered gunshot wounds to the chest, head and both wrists.

Campbell was terminated from the Hammond department Nov. 23.

He previously worked as an officer with the Gary Police Department for four years, where he was a member of the department's Region STOP Team.











Fiance, brother remember spirit of homicide victim 
Tiara Thomas described as caring, loving person
Post-Tribune (IN)
December 5, 2015
www.newsbank.com
Tiara Thomas wanted nothing more than to help and love others, her fiance and brother said Friday.

No matter the circumstances or situation, her giving nature meant she put others first, they said.

"Tiara lived to please others, to help anybody who was in need," recalled her fiance, Marqtell Robinson. "There wasn't anything she had she wasn't willing to give to others, whether it was love or money. There wasn't anything she wouldn't give, even if she didn't have it."

Robinson and Michael Thomas, Tiara Thomas' brother, recalled her generous spirit and her devotion to her children.

On Thursday, Kevin Campbell, 31, her ex-boyfriend and father of her three children, was arrested and charged with murder in her deathTiara Thomas, 30,was shot to death in the early-morning hours of Nov. 18 in the Portage apartment she shared with Robinson, authorities said.

Michael Thomas said his sister and Campbell, of the 6100 block of Wisconsin Street in Hobart, were high school sweethearts and their families have been intertwined for 15 years. The two never married.

"The hurt for us is so much bigger than this isolated incident, and we still have a really good relationship with several of his family," Michael Thomas said.

Robinson, 20, said he and Tiara Thomas had been together about a year. They met while working for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, where they were both associates reviewing service applications.

They became engaged March 24 and planned a wedding for June 26, Robinson said.

Thomas' children, ages 11, 8 and 5, were her world, Robinson said, and she often volunteered at their schools in Portage, chaperoning field trips and taking any other duties that were asked of her.

"She was the best mom I've ever seen. It goes back to the loving and generous person she was," he said. "Her kids came first, no matter what."

Michael Thomas, who now lives in Athens, Ga., said he and his sister were born and raised in Gary, and she was a cheerleader at Wirt High School.

"I didn't really notice it growing up, but people would refer to her as my shadow," said Michael Thomas, who is two years older than his sister.

They held their own story hour, taking turns as they read books together, and Thomas always tagged along to his Little League practices with their cousins.

"She'd be the only girl out there trying to catch fly balls and hit with everyone else," he said, adding she didn't like it when people criticized his athletic ability. "She thought I was the greatest baseball player, even though I wasn't."

In addition to planning a June wedding with Robinson, Tiara Thomas was working on an accounting degree, which she would have completed in May, Robinson said.

She hoped to some day use that business background to open and run a day care because she loved children.

"Tiara was at a point in her life where she was finding her own way," Michael Thomas said. "She had really gotten to a point where she was finding her lane and moving forward."

Thomas touched many lives, her brother said, many more than he ever knew because she wasn't the kind of person who wanted to be recognized for it, a testimony to her values. On Nov. 28, mourners filled all 300 pews at Beyond Four Walls Christian Center in Gary for her funeral service.

"I like to characterize Tiara as someone to persevere through difficult times and help people get to where they were going, so she helped a lot of people out," her brother said. "Tiara's gift, I believe, was she was a connector. She connected with people. Even if people weren't talking, they were talking to her."

Michael Thomas said the family has established a GoFundMe page to raise money for her children.

Tiara Thomas was always about building and uplifting others, her brother said.

"We don't want to dwell on the tragedy of the situation, but we do want to dwell on the legacy of Tiara, and that is loving others even when it's inconvenient," he said.

The loss of Tiara Thomas is everyone's loss, her brother said, for the lives she could have touched for years to come.

"I don't want to see my sister as being a victim but as being victorious. We know we're not alone and other families are suffering with us," he said. "It's a very tragic thing, but if we can turn it around, that will be an amazing legacy to have been left by my sister."










Former Hammond, Gary cop arrested, charged with Portage murder
NWI Times
Dec 4, 2015 








PORTAGE | A former Hammond and Gary police officer has been arrested and charged in the killing of the mother of three of his children.

Kevin Campbell, 31, of Hobart, was arrested Thursday morning by Portage police.

He is charged with murder in the slaying of Tiara Thomas, who was found covered in blood about 7:30 a.m. Nov. 18 in her unit at Park Place Apartments, 5970 Old Porter Road. She was taken to Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus in Gary, where she was pronounced dead at 8:21 a.m. from gunshot wounds.

The motive, according to court documents, points to arguments over child support and other money-related matters.

A probable cause affidavit filed Wednesday in Porter Superior Court alleges Campbell shot Thomas sometime between 4:37 a.m. and 5:55 a.m. Nov. 18, then took their three children to school.

Police interviewed the couple's oldest child, a middle school student. The child told investigators that on the way to school that morning, they stopped at Columbus Park in Lake Station where Campbell dumped a bag the child believed contained shoes and other unknown items at the park. Police have not recovered the bag.

The affidavit indicates Campbell kept the three children overnight the night before Thomas was killed, which was unusual. It also alleges Campbell requested his oldest child bring him a key to the apartment nearly two weeks before the killing.

There was no forced entry into Thomas' apartment the morning she was killed, according to the court document.

The affidavit states Campbell paid Thomas nearly $1,500 per month in child support and the two often argued about the money and how it was spent. The charges indicate Campbell was in debt and his vehicle had been repossessed.

Portage Police Chief Troy Williams confirmed in a Thursday news conference that finances seemed to be a motive, but declined further comments on the case.

Thomas was discovered by her fiance the morning of Nov. 18. He found her body on the floor of the bedroom. Police recovered three 9mm shell casings, two live 9mm rounds and two slugs that had exited Thomas' body in the bedroom. They also found two pillows with holes in them, which appeared were used in an attempt to muffle the noise from two of the gunshots, according to the affidavit.

Campbell was interviewed by Portage police that morning, but denied leaving his Hobart home before he took his children to school. However, his own home surveillance system indicated the front door of the home was opened at 4:37 a.m. and again at 5:55 a.m., according to the document. According to authorities, that gave him sufficient time to drive to Portage, shoot Thomas and return home before he woke the children to go to school.

Williams said Campbell was deceptive with police concerning the whereabouts of his cellphone the morning of Thomas' homicide.

That deception, Williams said, moved Campbell from a person of interest to the prime suspect in Thomas' murder.

Williams called Campbell's actions "callous and calculating."

He said Campbell was taken into custody just before 6 a.m. at his Hobart home.

Williams said that, knowing Campbell was a former police officer and had additional weapons and body armor, police decided to deploy a SWAT team to arrest Campbell. The SWAT team, along with Portage detectives and members of the Hobart Police Department, set up surveillance at Campbell's home about 4:30 a.m. Thursday.

Williams said they knew Campbell usually drove his current wife to work each morning and planned to arrest him as he left the house.

"Our operation execution went flawlessly," he said, adding Campbell attempted to run when he saw police, but soon gave up when he saw the home had been surrounded.

"We know the public wants their police officers held to a high standard and when something like this happens, involving a police officer, it cast a shadow over all of us," Williams said during the press conference. "I hope that the speed in which we were able to develop our case and obtain an arrest warrant and take Mr. Campbell into custody shows the public that it does not matter who you are. If you come to our city to commit a heinous crime such as this we will find you and we will arrest you."

Hammond's police chief said last week he fired Campbell, a probationary officer, who had been identified by authorities as a person of interest in a Portage homicide.

Police Chief John Doughty said the officer was put on leave and stripped of police powers Nov. 18 after Portage police informed Hammond police the man was a person of interest in the homicide investigation.

Campbell was also a police officer on the Gary Police Department from Aug. 3, 2011 to Jan. 11, 2015, when he left to join the Hammond department.

According to records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request from the city of Gary, while on the Gary department, Campbell had one written reprimand for an on duty car crash where he was found to be at fault. He also had two pending disciplinary actions, both involving charges of conduct unbecoming an officer.

Campbell left the department before disciplinary measures were carried out.










Cop charged with murder ordered to avoid his three children
Bob Kasarda 
NWI Times
December 04, 2015

VALPARAISO | Former police officer Kevin Campbell was ordered by a court Friday to avoid contact with his children as he faces a charge of killing their mother.

Campbell hesitated a moment before responding, "Yes your honor," to the order issued by Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford.

The order came during an initial hearing for Campbell, 31, held via a videoconferencing system.

Campbell was represented by defense attorney Roy Dominguez, who attended the short hearing along with Porter County Prosecutor Brian Gensel.

A preliminary plea of not guilty was entered on Campbell's behalf and hearings were set for Feb. 8 and March 7.

Campbell will remain behind bars without bond as a result of the murder charge.

Campbell was arrested Thursday morning and charged with the slaying of Tiara Thomas, 30, who was found covered in blood about 7:30 a.m. Nov. 18 in her unit at Park Place Apartments, 5970 Old Porter Road in Portage. She was taken to Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus in Gary, where she was pronounced dead at 8:21 a.m. from gunshot wounds.

Court documents point to arguments over child support and other money-related matters as a motive.

Police believe Campbell shot Thomas sometime between 4:37 a.m. and 5:55 a.m., then took their three children to school.

The affidavit indicates Campbell kept the three children overnight at his home in Hobart the night before Thomas was killed. It also alleges Campbell requested his oldest child bring him a key to the apartment nearly two weeks before the homicide.

There was no forced entry into Thomas' apartment the morning she was killed, according to the court document.

Campbell paid Thomas nearly $1,500 per month in child support and the two often argued about the money and how it was spent, according to charging information. The charges indicate Campbell was in debt and his vehicle had been repossessed.

Campbell, a probationary officer, was fired from the job in the wake of the killing after being identified as a person of interest in the case.

Campbell was also a police officer on the Gary Police Department from Aug. 3, 2011 to Jan. 11, 2015, when he left to join the Hammond department.











Former cop charged in ex-wife's slaying 
Woman was mother of former Hammond, Gary officer's 3 children
Post-Tribune (IN)
December 4, 2015
www.newsbank.com
Portage Police Chief Troy Williams said there might have been a financial motive for former Hammond and Gary police officer Kevin Campbell to take the life of his ex-wife and the mother of three of his children, Tiara Thomas, last month in a Portage apartment complex.

Campbell, 31, of the 6100 block of Wisconsin Street in Hobart, was charged Wednesday and taken into custody shortly before 6 a.m. Thursday. Police arrested Campbell outside his home as he left to take his wife to work, Williams said at a Thursday news conference at the Portage Police Department.

Williams said Campbell ran from his driveway north to the side of his yard before he gave himself up. The Portage Police SWAT Team assisted with the arrest because though he was recently fired from the Hammond Police Department, he owned multiple firearms and still had soft body armor, Williams said.

Campbell was taken into custody and transported to Porter County Jail without further incident. The case has been assigned to Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford. Because Campbell is charged with murder, it is expected he will be held without bond. His initial hearing is scheduled via videoconference for 3 p.m. Friday.

"Regrettably, Mr. Campbell was a police officer at the time of this crime and thus tarnished the badge. But make no mistake; Mr. Campbell stopped being a police officer the moment he pulled the trigger," Williams said. "In a time around the country when some have distrust for the police, Mr. Campbell did nothing to help that cause. I believe Mr. Campbell's callous and calculating actions go to show the type of person he truly is."

According to charging documents filed Wednesday, Campbell's vehicle had been repossessed and he and Thomas argued about his payment of $1,495 a month in child support and how the money was spent. He had a bank account balance of $7.58 at the time of Thomas' death, and police found numerous voicemails from creditors on his cellphone, the probable cause affidavit said.

"We believe there was some financial motive to this," Williams said. "There seem to be a lot of things that built up for Mr. Campbell. Being a police officer, you would hope he wouldn't take the type of action that he took."

Thomas, 30, was discovered by her fiance on her bedroom floor with several gunshot wounds around 7:30 a.m. Nov. 18 when her fiance returned from work to their apartment in the 5900 block of Old Porter Road in the Park Place apartment complex.

She died a short time later at Methodist Hospital Northlake Campus in Gary. She suffered gunshot wounds to the chest, head and both wrists.

"As our investigation progressed, Tiara's ex-husband, Kevin A. Campbell, became a person of interest due to several deceptive and misleading statements that we knew to be false," Williams said. Police said those statements had to do with the whereabouts of Campbell's cellphone, which according to charging documents was found with Campbell's father when the two went to the police station for questioning the day of the murder.

"As our case continued and as our evidence mounted, it became clear that Mr. Campbell was the main suspect in his ex-wife's homicide," Williams said.

Campbell had his children with Thomas, who lived with her, stay at his Hobart residence the night before the murder, the affidavit said.

The court document said he left his residence at 4:37 a.m. Nov. 18, drove to Thomas' apartment, where his cellphone pinged to a nearby cell tower at 5:38 a.m., and returned home at 5:55 a.m. in time to get his children ready to attend school in Portage.

Thomas' fiance told police it was unusual for Campbell to have the children overnight during the week because he would have to get up early and drive the children back to Portage for school.

The return trip to Portage the day of Thomas' death included a stop at Columbus Park in Lake Station before Campbell dropped his oldest child off at Willowcreek Middle School, the affidavit said.

The child told police his father "stopped the vehicle at the park and removed a bag that he took to an unknown location in the park. When he returned, he was not carrying the bag," the documents said. A police search of the park did not locate the bag.

Police said in the charging documents that there was no forced entry to the apartment and Thomas' fiance found the deadbolt unlocked when he returned home from work, which was unusual because she always locked the door at night.

Campbell asked his oldest child to make sure he had his house key for a Nov. 6 overnight visit, the court document said.

Hammond Police Chief John Doughty said Campbell, a former Gary police officer, was hired Jan. 12 and was placed on administrative leave Nov. 18, after Portage police contacted him and said Campbell was a person of interest in Thomas' shooting death.

He was terminated from the Hammond department on Nov. 23. He previously worked as an officer with the Gary Police Department for four years, where he was a member of the department's Region STOP Team.

The day after Thomas' death, police released a picture of a 2003 black Ford with gray trim they said may have been at Thomas' apartment complex.

Court documents state that Portage detectives determined Campbell was driving the truck, which belonged to his father, because his vehicle was repossessed on Nov. 13.

Williams thanked police chiefs in Hammond, Gary and Portage, as well as Porter County Sheriff David Reynolds, for their assistance with the case, as well as his department's detectives.

"I would like to extend my sympathies to the Thomas family for the loss of Tiara," Williams said. "This was a senseless crime which now leaves behind three children without a mother and four children without a father for much of their lives."











Tiara Thomas' fiance, brother remember her spirit
Post-Tribune
December 04, 2015 - 6:33PM

Tiara Thomas wanted nothing more than to help and love others, her fiance and brother said Friday.

No matter the circumstances or situation, her giving nature meant she put others first, they said.

"Tiara lived to please others, to help anybody who was in need," recalled her fiance, Marqtell Robinson. "There wasn't anything she had she wasn't willing to give to others, whether it was love or money. There wasn't anything she wouldn't give, even if she didn't have it."

Robinson and Michael Thomas, Tiara Thomas' brother, recalled her generous spirit and her devotion to her children.

On Thursday, Kevin Campbell, 31, her ex-boyfriend and father of her three children, was arrested and charged with murder in her deathTiara Thomas, 30,was shot to death in the early-morning hours of Nov. 18 in the Portage apartment she shared with Robinson, authorities said.

Michael Thomas said his sister and Campbell, of the 6100 block of Wisconsin Street in Hobart, were high school sweethearts and their families have been intertwined for 15 years. The two never married.

"The hurt for us is so much bigger than this isolated incident, and we still have a really good relationship with several of his family," Michael Thomas said.

Robinson, 20, said he and Tiara Thomas had been together about a year. They met while working for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, where they were both associates reviewing service applications.

They became engaged March 24 and planned a wedding for June 26, Robinson said.

Thomas' children, ages 11, 8 and 5, were her world, Robinson said, and she often volunteered at their schools in Portage, chaperoning field trips and taking any other duties that were asked of her.

"She was the best mom I've ever seen. It goes back to the loving and generous person she was," he said. "Her kids came first, no matter what."

Michael Thomas, who now lives in Athens, Ga., said he and his sister were born and raised in Gary, and she was a cheerleader at Wirt High School.

"I didn't really notice it growing up, but people would refer to her as my shadow," said Michael Thomas, who is two years older than his sister.

They held their own story hour, taking turns as they read books together, and Thomas always tagged along to his Little League practices with their cousins.

"She'd be the only girl out there trying to catch fly balls and hit with everyone else," he said, adding she didn't like it when people criticized his athletic ability. "She thought I was the greatest baseball player, even though I wasn't."

In addition to planning a June wedding with Robinson, Tiara Thomas was working on an accounting degree, which she would have completed in May, Robinson said.

She was the best mom I've ever seen. It goes back to the loving and generous person she was.
— Marqtell Robinson

She hoped to some day use that business background to open and run a day care because she loved children.

"Tiara was at a point in her life where she was finding her own way," Michael Thomas said. "She had really gotten to a point where she was finding her lane and moving forward."

Thomas touched many lives, her brother said, many more than he ever knew because she wasn't the kind of person who wanted to be recognized for it, a testimony to her values. On Nov. 28, mourners filled all 300 pews at Beyond Four Walls Christian Center in Gary for her funeral service.

"I like to characterize Tiara as someone to persevere through difficult times and help people get to where they were going, so she helped a lot of people out," her brother said. "Tiara's gift, I believe, was she was a connector. She connected with people. Even if people weren't talking, they were talking to her."

Michael Thomas said the family has established a GoFundMe page to raise money for her children.

Tiara Thomas was always about building and uplifting others, her brother said.

"We don't want to dwell on the tragedy of the situation, but we do want to dwell on the legacy of Tiara, and that is loving others even when it's inconvenient," he said.

The loss of Tiara Thomas is everyone's loss, her brother said, for the lives she could have touched for years to come.

"I don't want to see my sister as being a victim but as being victorious. We know we're not alone and other families are suffering with us," he said. "It's a very tragic thing, but if we can turn it around, that will be an amazing legacy to have been left by my sister."










No bond for former cop accused in Portage killing
Amy Lavalley
Post-Tribune
December 04, 2015 - 4:54PM

Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford entered a preliminary plea of not guilty on a felony murder charge Friday for a former Hammond and Gary police officer accused of killing the mother of three of his children.

Kevin Campbell, 31, of the 6100 block of Wisconsin Street in Hobart, is charged in the Nov. 18 shooting death of his former girlfriend, Tiara Thomas, 30. She was shot to death in the Portage apartment she shared with her fiance, Marqtell Robinson.

Campbell is being held without bond.

Merrillville attorney Roy Dominguez, the former Lake County sheriff, is representing Campbell. His wife, Alicia Campbell, and his father, Kent Campbell, attended the brief hearing. They declined to comment afterward.

Porter County Prosecutor Brian Gensel is handling the case for the state.

Campbell, wearing an orange jumpsuit and with his hands in handcuffs in front of him, appeared via video in a room at the Porter County Jail with seven other inmates.

Campbell repeatedly answered, "Yes, your honor," as Bradford asked him if he understood the allegations against him and the penalties he would face if found guilty. Campbell faces 45 to 65 years in prison if convicted.

Bradford also issued a no-contact order between Campbell and his children, ages 11, 8 and 5.

No trial date was set during the hearing, but a status hearing was scheduled for 9 a.m. Feb. 8 and a pretrial conference for 9 a.m. March 7.

Campbell was taken into custody shortly before 6 a.m. Thursday. He was arrested outside his home in Hobart as he left to take his wife to work.

Police have said Campbell might have had a financial motive for his alleged crime.

According to charging documents, Campbell's vehicle had been repossessed, and he and Thomas argued about his payment of $1,495 a month in child support and how the money was spent. He had a bank account balance of $7.58 at the time of Thomas' death, and police found numerous voice mails from creditors on his cellphone, court documents said.

Thomas was discovered with several gunshot wounds around 7:30 a.m. Nov. 18 when Robinson found her after he returned from work to their apartment in the 5900 block of Old Porter Road in the Park Place apartment complex.

She died a short time later at Methodist Hospital Northlake Campus in Gary. She suffered gunshot wounds to the chest, head and both wrists.

Campbell was terminated from the Hammond department Nov. 23.

He previously worked as an officer with the Gary Police Department for four years, where he was a member of the department's Region STOP Team.










Former cop charged in ex's killing 
Post Tribune
December 04, 2015 - 3:36PM



Portage Police Chief Troy Williams said there might have been a financial motive for former Hammond and Gary police officer Kevin Campbell to take the life of his ex-girlfriend and the mother of three of his children, Tiara Thomas, last month in a Portage apartment complex.

Campbell, 31, of the 6100 block of Wisconsin Street in Hobart, was charged Wednesday and taken into custody shortly before 6 a.m. Thursday. Police arrested Campbell outside his home as he left to take his wife to work, Williams said at a Thursday press conference at the Portage Police Department.

Williams said Campbell ran from his driveway north to the side of his yard before he gave himself up. The Portage Police SWAT Team assisted with the arrest because though he was recently fired from the Hammond Police Department, he owned multiple firearms and still had soft body armor, Williams said.

Campbell was taken into custody and transported to Porter County Jail without further incident. The case has been assigned to Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford. Because Campbell is charged with murder, it is expected he will be held without bond. His initial hearing is scheduled via videoconference for 3 p.m. Friday.

"Regrettably, Mr. Campbell was a police officer at the time of this crime and thus tarnished the badge. But make no mistake; Mr. Campbell stopped being a police officer the moment he pulled the trigger," Williams said. "In a time around the country when some have distrust for the police, Mr. Campbell did nothing to help that cause. I believe Mr. Campbell's callous and calculating actions go to show the type of person he truly is."

According to charging documents filed Wednesday, Campbell's vehicle had been repossessed and he and Thomas argued about his payment of $1,495 a month in child support and how the money was spent. He had a bank account balance of $7.58 at the time of Thomas' death, and police found numerous voicemails from creditors on his cellphone, the probable cause affidavit said.

"We believe there was some financial motive to this," Williams said. "There seem to be a lot of things that built up for Mr. Campbell. Being a police officer, you would hope he wouldn't take the type of action that he took."

Thomas, 30, was discovered by her fiance on her bedroom floor with several gunshot wounds around 7:30 a.m. Nov. 18 when her fiancé returned from work to their apartment in the 5900 block of Old Porter Road in the Park Place apartment complex.

She died a short time later at Methodist Hospital Northlake Campus in Gary. She suffered gunshot wounds to the chest, head and both wrists.

"As our investigation progressed, Tiara's ex-husband, Kevin A. Campbell, became a person of interest due to several deceptive and misleading statements that we knew to be false," Williams said. Police said those statements had to do with the whereabouts of Campbell's cellphone, which according to charging documents was found with Campbell's father when the two went to the police station for questioning the day of the murder.

"As our case continued and as our evidence mounted, it became clear that Mr. Campbell was the main suspect," Williams said.

Campbell had his children with Thomas, who lived with her, stay at his Hobart residence the night before the murder, the affidavit said.

The court document said he left his residence at 4:37 a.m. Nov. 18, drove to Thomas' apartment, where his cellphone pinged to a nearby cell tower at 5:38 a.m., and returned home at 5:55 a.m. in time to get his children ready to attend school in Portage.

Thomas' fiancé told police it was unusual for Campbell to have the children overnight during the week because he would have to get up early and drive the children back to Portage for school.

The return trip to Portage the day of Thomas' death included a stop at Columbus Park in Lake Station before Campbell dropped his oldest child off at Willowcreek Middle School, the affidavit said. The child told police his father "stopped the vehicle at the park and removed a bag that he took to an unknown location in the park. When he returned, he was not carrying the bag," the documents said. A police search of the park did not locate the bag.

Police said in the charging documents that there was no forced entry to the apartment and Thomas' fiancé found the deadbolt unlocked when he returned home from work, which was unusual because she always locked the door at night.

Campbell asked his oldest child to make sure he had his house key for a Nov. 6 overnight visit, the court document said.

Hammond Police Chief John Doughty said Campbell, a former Gary police officer, was hired Jan. 12 and was placed on administrative leave Nov. 18, after Portage police contacted him and said Campbell was a person of interest in Thomas' shooting death.

He was terminated from the Hammond department on Nov. 23. He previously worked as an officer with the Gary Police Department for four years, where he was a member of the department's Region STOP Team.

The day after Thomas' death, police released a picture of a 2003 black Ford with gray trim they said may have been at Thomas' apartment complex.

Court documents state that Portage detectives determined Campbell was driving the truck, which belonged to his father, because his vehicle was repossessed on Nov. 13.

Williams thanked police chiefs in Hammond, Gary and Portage, as well as Porter County Sheriff David Reynolds, for their assistance with the case, as well as his department's detectives.

"I would like to extend my sympathies to the Thomas family for the loss of Tiara," Williams said. "This was a senseless crime which now leaves behind three children without a mother and four children without a father for much of their lives."










Former Hammond cop charged in shooting death of his children's mother
Post Tribune
December 04, 2015 - 3:36PM


Portage Police Chief Troy Williams said there might have been a financial motive for former Hammond and Gary police officer Kevin Campbell to take the life of his ex-girlfriend and the mother of three of his children, Tiara Thomas, last month in a Portage apartment complex.

Campbell, 31, of the 6100 block of Wisconsin Street in Hobart, was charged Wednesday and taken into custody shortly before 6 a.m. Thursday. Police arrested Campbell outside his home as he left to take his wife to work, Williams said at a Thursday press conference at the Portage Police Department.

Williams said Campbell ran from his driveway north to the side of his yard before he gave himself up. The Portage Police SWAT Team assisted with the arrest because though he was recently fired from the Hammond Police Department, he owned multiple firearms and still had soft body armor, Williams said.

Campbell was taken into custody and transported to Porter County Jail without further incident. The case has been assigned to Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford. Because Campbell is charged with murder, it is expected he will be held without bond. His initial hearing is scheduled via videoconference for 3 p.m. Friday.

"Regrettably, Mr. Campbell was a police officer at the time of this crime and thus tarnished the badge. But make no mistake; Mr. Campbell stopped being a police officer the moment he pulled the trigger," Williams said. "In a time around the country when some have distrust for the police, Mr. Campbell did nothing to help that cause. I believe Mr. Campbell's callous and calculating actions go to show the type of person he truly is."

According to charging documents filed Wednesday, Campbell's vehicle had been repossessed and he and Thomas argued about his payment of $1,495 a month in child support and how the money was spent. He had a bank account balance of $7.58 at the time of Thomas' death, and police found numerous voicemails from creditors on his cellphone, the probable cause affidavit said.

"We believe there was some financial motive to this," Williams said. "There seem to be a lot of things that built up for Mr. Campbell. Being a police officer, you would hope he wouldn't take the type of action that he took."

Thomas, 30, was discovered by her fiance on her bedroom floor with several gunshot wounds around 7:30 a.m. Nov. 18 when her fiancé returned from work to their apartment in the 5900 block of Old Porter Road in the Park Place apartment complex.

She died a short time later at Methodist Hospital Northlake Campus in Gary. She suffered gunshot wounds to the chest, head and both wrists.

"As our investigation progressed, Tiara's ex-husband, Kevin A. Campbell, became a person of interest due to several deceptive and misleading statements that we knew to be false," Williams said. Police said those statements had to do with the whereabouts of Campbell's cellphone, which according to charging documents was found with Campbell's father when the two went to the police station for questioning the day of the murder.

"As our case continued and as our evidence mounted, it became clear that Mr. Campbell was the main suspect," Williams said.

Campbell had his children with Thomas, who lived with her, stay at his Hobart residence the night before the murder, the affidavit said.

The court document said he left his residence at 4:37 a.m. Nov. 18, drove to Thomas' apartment, where his cellphone pinged to a nearby cell tower at 5:38 a.m., and returned home at 5:55 a.m. in time to get his children ready to attend school in Portage.

Thomas' fiancé told police it was unusual for Campbell to have the children overnight during the week because he would have to get up early and drive the children back to Portage for school.

The return trip to Portage the day of Thomas' death included a stop at Columbus Park in Lake Station before Campbell dropped his oldest child off at Willowcreek Middle School, the affidavit said. The child told police his father "stopped the vehicle at the park and removed a bag that he took to an unknown location in the park. When he returned, he was not carrying the bag," the documents said. A police search of the park did not locate the bag.

Police said in the charging documents that there was no forced entry to the apartment and Thomas' fiancé found the deadbolt unlocked when he returned home from work, which was unusual because she always locked the door at night.

Campbell asked his oldest child to make sure he had his house key for a Nov. 6 overnight visit, the court document said.

Hammond Police Chief John Doughty said Campbell, a former Gary police officer, was hired Jan. 12 and was placed on administrative leave Nov. 18, after Portage police contacted him and said Campbell was a person of interest in Thomas' shooting death.

He was terminated from the Hammond department on Nov. 23. He previously worked as an officer with the Gary Police Department for four years, where he was a member of the department's Region STOP Team.

The day after Thomas' death, police released a picture of a 2003 black Ford with gray trim they said may have been at Thomas' apartment complex.

Court documents state that Portage detectives determined Campbell was driving the truck, which belonged to his father, because his vehicle was repossessed on Nov. 13.

Williams thanked police chiefs in Hammond, Gary and Portage, as well as Porter County Sheriff David Reynolds, for their assistance with the case, as well as his department's detectives.

"I would like to extend my sympathies to the Thomas family for the loss of Tiara," Williams said. "This was a senseless crime which now leaves behind three children without a mother and four children without a father for much of their lives."










Arrest of Kevin Campbell 
Jonathan Miano
The Times
Dec 3, 2015
http://www.nwitimes.com/arrest-of-kevin-campbell/image_6a6a6c44-835d-5abd-b338-cff0c3dc8dbd.html
An outline of the arrest made by Portage Police Chief Troy Williams as he announces on Thursday the arrest of former Hammond and Gary police officer Kevin Campbell, who is charged with killing Tiara Thomas, at the Portage Police Department.


Portage Police Chief Troy Williams, left, announces the arrest of former Hammond and Gary police officer Kevin Campbell, who is charged with killing Tiara Thomas, at the Portage Police Department on Thursday.


Portage Police Chief Troy Williams announces the arrest of former Hammond and Gary police officer Kevin Campbell, who is charged with killing Tiara Thomas, at the Portage Police Department Thursday.


Portage Police Chief Troy Williams announces the arrest of former Hammond and Gary police officer Kevin Campbell, who is charged with killing Tiara Thomas, at the Portage Police Department Thursday.


Members of the Portage Police Department announce Thursday the arrest of former Hammond and Gary police officer Kevin Campbell, who is charged with killing Tiara Thomas, at the Portage Police Department.










Ex-officer charged with killing mother of 3 of his children
Associated Press State Wire: Indiana (IN)
December 3, 2015
www.newsbank.com
PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — A former Hammond and Gary police officer facing financial problems has been charged with the murder of the mother of three of his children.

Portage police arrested 31-year-old Kevin Campbell of Hobart on Thursday and charged him in connection with the slaying of 30-year-old Tiara Thomas of Portage.

An affidavit alleges Campbell shot Thomas on the morning of Nov. 18 before taking their children to school.

The affidavit says phone records indicated Campbell and Thomas argued over nearly $1,500 in child support that he paid and that creditors were calling him.

The (Munster) Times reports Hammond's police chief fired Campbell last week after investigators identified him as a person of interest in a Portage homicide. He joined the Hammond force in January after more than three years with Gary police.











Tiara Thomas' legacy is 'to love, even when it is not convenient'
NWI Times
Dec 3, 2015 


Tiara Thomas was planning a June 26 wedding.

Her colors were navy blue and a soft pink.

The 30-year-old mother of three didn't live to wed her fiance Marqtell Robinson.

"We buried her in those colors," Robinson said Thursday, the day Kevin Campbell was arrested for the Portage woman's Nov. 18 homicide.

Hundreds attended her services at Beyond Four Walls Christian Center in Gary on Nov. 28. Many, he said, wore navy and soft pink in her honor.

In addition to Robinson and her children, Thomas left behind family and friends mourning her death, according to her brother Michael Thomas.

"She really loved and persevered on people," said Thomas, describing his little sister as a "very strong individual" who would rather struggle than ask for help. Yet, he said, she went out of her way to help others.

"We want to honor her legacy, which is to love, even when it is not convenient. Even when relationships were difficult, love was there," he said. "She loved her children to no end. No matter what happened, her children came first."

Michael Thomas said they have set up a GoFundMe account to help support the children. Donations can be made at gofundme.com/tiarathomas. Funds will be put in a trust for her children.

Tiara Thomas was not only planning her wedding, but had nearly completed her degree in accounting. Her dream, said her brother, was to open a day care center.

"She loved everybody's kids. She would buy diapers, throw showers and birthday parties. She had people's backs," he said, adding she never expected anything in return.

Michael Thomas said it is his sister's children that are keeping the family strong. The two boys, ages 11 and 8, and daughter, age 5, are living with their grandmother.

"They are stronger than we are right now. Marqtell and I were with them when they saw their mother's body. We were the ones that had to tell them the news," said Michael Thomas, adding, in essence, his nephews and niece have lost both parents.

"We are being the best that we can to be sensitive to the kids because Kevin is their father. We had a long relationship with him and his family. This hurts on so many levels," said Thomas, adding his sister and Campbell met while either in middle or high school and had a 15-year relationship. She graduated from Wirt High School.

Robinson said the two were together for about a year. They met when working together for a state-run social service agency.

"We just started talking. We just became close friends," Robinson said.

"She was beautiful inside and out. I never met someone so genuine and loving," Robinson said. "She was more than a mom, more than a woman. She was love. She was beautiful."

Robinson said his faith and the three children are getting him through this tough time.

"We have to be strong for our children. They are keeping me strong," he said.












Hammond police fire officer ID'd as person of interest in Portage homicide
NWI Times
Nov 24, 2015 


PORTAGE | Hammond's police chief said Tuesday he fired a probationary officer who has been identified by authorities as a person of interest in a Portage homicide.

Police Chief John Doughty said the officer was put on leave and stripped of police powers Nov. 18 — the same day 30-year-old Tiara Thomas was shot multiple times inside her Portage apartment.

Doughty said the officer was placed on leave after Portage police informed Hammond police the man was a person of interest in the homicide investigation.

The man joined Hammond police Jan. 12 and was on probationary status until his termination Tuesday, Doughty said.

"During an internal review of recent conduct by (the officer), I have determined he is no longer a suitable candidate for our department," Doughty said.

Before joining the Hammond Police Department, the man worked for the Gary Police Department, Doughty said.

Doughty and Portage Police Chief Troy Williams have both identified the man, but The Times is not naming him because he has not been formally charged. He is not in custody, Williams said.

Williams said the former officer, a 31-year-old Hobart resident, is a person of interest because of his lack of cooperation with investigators.

"Our detectives are working feverishly to bring a resolution to this case," he said.

Williams said Tuesday there were no additional updates on the investigation.

A Freedom of Information Act request was filed Tuesday with Gary requesting information about the person of interest. The city's legal department has acknowledged the request, but has not yet provided information about the former officer.

Thomas was found covered in blood at about 7:30 a.m. Nov. 18 in her unit at Park Place Apartments, 5970 Old Porter Road. She was taken to Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus in Gary, where she was pronounced dead at 8:21 a.m. from gunshot wounds.

Police on Thursday released a photo of a black Ford Explorer described as a vehicle of "special interest" in the investigation. Williams said at the time that detectives wanted to know if that vehicle was in the area of the apartment complex before or after the shooting.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call (219) 762-3122 and ask for Detective Capt. Joe Reynolds and Detective Lt. Dennis Meyers.










Chief: Review of conduct leads to Hammond cop's firing
Post-Tribune
November 24, 2015 - 6:19PM

A Hammond police probationary officer who authorities said is a "person of interest" in the shooting death of a Portage woman last week was fired Tuesday after an internal review by the department, according to Hammond Police Chief John Doughty.

Portage police, in a press release this week, identified Kevin A. Campbell, 31, of Hobart, as a "person of interest" in the Nov. 18 shooting death of Tiara T. Thomas, the mother of his children. Campbell has not been identified as a suspect or charged in her death.

"His lack of cooperation in the death of his children's mother is a concern to us," Portage Police Chief Troy Williams said in the press release. "Our detectives are working feverishly to bring a resolution to this case."

Portage police said their investigation into Thomas' death is ongoing and no one has been ruled out yet.

The 30-year-old Thomas died Nov. 18 from gunshot wounds she suffered at her ground floor apartment, authorities said. The Lake County Coroner's office ruled her death a homicide.

Williams said last week that Thomas' fiance arrived home from work and found Thomas in their bedroom, bleeding from the head and chest.

In a Tuesday email, Doughty said that Campbell, a former Gary police officer, was hired Jan. 12 and was on probationary status.

After Portage police contacted Doughty on Nov. 18 about Campbell being a person of interest, "he was put on administrative leave and stripped of police powers," Doughty said in the email.

"During an internal review of recent conduct by Officer Campbell, I have determined he is no longer a suitable candidate for our department. He has been terminated from employment as of today," Doughty said in the email.

Campbell did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The day after Thomas' shooting death, police released a picture of a 2003 black Ford pickup truck with gray trim they said may have been in the Park Place apartment complex, in the 5900 block of Old Porter Road, where Thomas lived, or in the surrounding area.

Anyone with information related to the case is asked to call Detective Capt. Joe Reynolds and Detective Lt. Dennis Meyers at 219-762-3122.










Hammond cop a person of interest in Portage homicide, police say
Joyce Russell and Sarah Reese Times 
Nov 23, 2015 
NWI Times




PORTAGE | A Hammond police officer is a person of interest in the shooting death last week of a woman at Park Place Apartments in Portage, an official said.

Portage Police Chief Troy Williams said Monday the investigation is ongoing and no one has been ruled out.

The Hammond officer, a 31-year-old Hobart man, is being considered a person of interest, Williams said.

"His lack of cooperation in the death ... is of concern to us. Our detectives are working feverishly to bring a resolution to this case," he said.

Hammond police spokesman Lt. Richard Hoyda said late Monday he could not immediately provide information about the person of interest.

The Times is not naming the person because he has not been formally charged. He is not in custody, Williams said.

Tiara Thomas, 30, was found covered in blood about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday in her apartment at 5970 Old Porter Road. She was taken to Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus in Gary, where she was pronounced dead at 8:21 a.m. from gunshot wounds.

Police on Thursday released a photo of a black Ford Explorer described as a vehicle of "special interest" in the investigation. Williams said at the time that detectives wanted to know if that vehicle was in the area of the apartment complex before or after the shooting.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call (219) 762-3122 and ask for Detective Capt. Joe Reynolds and Detective Lt. Dennis Meyers.










UPDATE: Portage police seek public's help investigating shooting death
NWI Times
November 19, 2015 





PORTAGE | Police here are asking the public for help as they investigate the shooting death of the a woman in her apartment at the Park Place Apartments.

Tiara Thomas, 30, was shot in her apartment at 5970 Old Porter Road, Wednesday morning. Portage police were called at 7:28 a.m. to the woman's apartment for a report of a woman covered in blood. She was pronounced dead at 8:21 a.m. at the Methodist Hospitals Northlake campus in Gary.

Portage police on Thursday released a flier asking if anyone saw a suspicious person entering the woman's apartment before 7:28 a.m. to call the department's detective bureau.

Police also released a photo of a 2003 black Ford Explorer saying the vehicle pictured is of special interest and may have been in the apartment complex or surrounding area.

Police Chief Troy Williams said detectives want to know if that truck was in the area of the apartment complex before or after the shooting. Williams said the photo was taken at the home of a person of interest.

He said Thursday morning officers were out canvassing the area around Park Place Apartments where Thomas was killed.

Williams said no arrest arrest has been made, but officers are following up on several leads.

He said anyone with information should call (219) 762-3122 or (219) 764-5704. Callers can remain anonymous and no detail is insignificant, police said.

Williams said Thursday he still believes the shooting death is an isolated incident and residents should not be concerned about their safety.










Woman shot to death in Portage home
Chicago Sun-Times (IL)
November 20, 2015
www.newsbank.com
A woman died Wednesday morning after she was shot inside her apartment in northwest Indiana.

Tiara Thomas’ fiancé came home from work and found her bleeding from her head and chest in their bedroom about 7:25 a.m. Wednesday, according to a statement from Portage police.

Thomas, 31, was shot multiple times at her apartment in the 5900 block of Old Porter Road in Portage, Ind., the Lake County coroner’s office said.

She was taken to Methodist Hospital Northlake in Gary where she died at 8:21 a.m., according to the coroner’s office. Her death was ruled a homicide.

Police are looking for a 2003 black Ford Explorer that may have been in the area when the shooting occurred. They ask that anyone with information call detectives at (219) 762-3122 or (219) 764-5704.











Police following leads in Portage woman's death
Post-Tribune
November 19, 2015 - 5:28PM
Portage police are continuing with leads and interviews in their investigation of the shooting death of Tiara T. Thomas, and on Thursday released a picture of a pickup truck they said is of special interest in the case.

The 2003 black Ford Explorer with gray trim may have been in the Park Place apartment complex, in the 5900 block of Old Porter Road, where Thomas lived, or in the surrounding area, said Troy Williams, Portage police chief.

Thomas, 30, died at 8:21 a.m. Wednesday at Methodist Hospital Northlake Campus in Gary of gunshot wounds, according to the Lake County Coroner's Office. Her death was ruled a homicide.

Williams said Thomas' fiancé arrived home from work and found Thomas bleeding from the head and chest in their bedroom and called police around 7:28 a.m. Police said the homicide occurred before 7:25 a.m.

Thomas was transported to Methodist where she later died.

A neighbor Wednesday described Thomas as quiet and said she had children. He said that lately there were a lot of people coming and going from the apartment but police were never called and he wasn't aware of any trouble.

"This is an isolated incident and we do not feel there is any need to panic or be fearful," Williams said.

Anyone who saw a suspicious person around or entering the apartment through the front or back door or a suspicious vehicle in the area before or during this time to contact the department's detective bureau, Williams said.

Callers may remain anonymous, and call 219-762-3122 or 219-764-5704 with any information.

"No detail is insignificant," Williams said.











UPDATE: Woman shot to death in Portage
NWI Times
November 18, 2015







PORTAGE | A 30-year-old Portage woman died Wednesday after being shot in her apartment, officials said.

Tiara Thomas, of 5970 Old Porter Road, was pronounced dead at 8:21 a.m. at The Methodist Hospitals' Northlake campus in Gary, Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey said.

The cause of death was listed as gunshot wounds suffered in a homicide.

Portage police were called at 7:28 a.m. to the woman's apartment for a report of a woman covered in blood.

Police spoke to Thomas' fiance who said when he arrived home from work he found Thomas in their bedroom bleeding from her head and chest.

According to a Portage police Chief Troy Williams, she was taken to The Methodist Hospitals' Northlake campus in Gary where she later died.

He said police canvassed the area and developed several leads, which were being followed.

Williams said this appears to be an isolated incident and residents should not be concerned about their safety.

One of Thomas' neighbors, Danny Allen, said he didn't hear a gunshot, but woke up when Portage police arrived. He said he could hear a man crying.

He said he didn't know Thomas well, but spoke to her briefly when they would come and go from their apartments.

He said he did notice a lot of visitors at her apartment.

“She had people running in and out of her house all the time,” Allen said.

Otherwise, he said the apartment complex is quiet.











Portage woman found with gunshot wounds dies
Amy Lavalley
Post-Tribune
November 18, 2015 - 3:23PM


Tiara T. Thomas, 30, of the 5900 block of Old Porter Road, died at 8:21 a.m. at Methodist Hospital Northlake Campus in Gary of gunshot wounds, according to a news release.

Portage police are investigating the Wednesday morning shooting death of a woman who lived in the Park Place apartments.

Tiara T. Thomas, 30, of the 5900 block of Old Porter Road, died at 8:21 a.m. at Methodist Hospital Northlake Campus in Gary of gunshot wounds, according to a news release from the Lake County Coroner's Office. Her death has been declared a homicide.

"It's an isolated incident," said Portage Police Chief Troy Williams, adding officers began canvassing the area and developed several leads they are pursuing. He added the general public should not be worried.

Williams said Thomas' fiancé, who is not being named, arrived home from work and found Thomas bleeding from the head and chest in their bedroom and called police around 7:28 a.m.

Thomas was transported to Methodist where she later died.

On Wednesday afternoon, Portage police remained in the hallway in front of Thomas' ground floor apartment. They declined to comment on the shooting.

Danny Allen, who lives in the Park Place apartment across from Thomas', said he was awakened about 8 a.m. by police pounding on his door. "The cops asked if I heard anything and there was a guy crying. He was having a fit."

Allen told police he didn't hear gunshots or any other commotion.

He said Thomas had lived in the complex for about 1 1/2 years.

He described Thomas a quiet neighbor with children.

"She got the kids out at 7:30 a.m. and she was usually in and out at night."

He said one of Thomas's children attended Willowcreek Middle School in Portage.

Lately, however, Allen said there were a lot of people coming and going from the apartment. He said police were never called and he wasn't aware of any trouble.

"I didn't know her well. I just saw her as she came and went," Allen said. "She was quiet."

Williams expected to release more information about the case Thursday.



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