A Glen Carbon woman who owns a house where a man died in a fire Thursday morning had a troubled marriage with the father of her first six children, according to court records.
Cristy Campbell, 32 — who also may have been the driver of a vehicle that went into a lake Thursday morning with a baby inside — had a long relationship with Justin Campbell, 37. They had their first child in 2002, and married in 2006.
But in 2005, Justin Campbell was charged with felony aggravated domestic violence, which was later reduced to a misdemeanor in exchange for a guilty plea. The charge states that he slapped Cristy Campbell, then known as Cristy Brueggemann, whom he knew to be pregnant at the time. He paid a fine of $500 and was placed on probation for a year.
The couple filed for divorce in 2010, but changed their minds and ended the proceedings. Cristy Campbell requested an order of protection against Justin Campbell in April 2012, but requested that it be allowed to expire 15 days later. She filed for divorce again in September 2012.
Justin Campbell failed to respond to the filing before the court date in 2013, according to court records, and it was finalized without his participation. The divorce included provisions for child support and visitation.
A year later, Cristy Campbell requested supervised visitation for her ex-husband, alleging that two of the children told her he had pinched, punched and choked them. The court ordered that Justin Campbell’s visitation would take place at the Kids’ Corner, a court-sanctioned neutral location.
There have been no changes in the Campbells’ divorce case since 2014. However, that same year Glen Carbon Police charged Cristy Campbell after she allegedly allowed a 5-year-old child to leave their home on Dogwood Lane and wander unattended. Cristy Campbell attended parenting classes and the charge was dropped.
Neither of the Campbells had any other criminal history in Madison County, save for traffic tickets.
Police did not immediately release the identity of the man who died in the fire at Cristy Campbell’s house or further details of what happened at Silver Lake, which is on the outskirts of Highland.
Cristy Campbell, on her Facebook page, had posts about a baby she gave birth to about 3 months ago. Her posts suggested that Justin Campbell also was the father of that child.
Cristy Campbell was being sought Thursday morning as a “person of interest” and “possibly endangered.” Campbell’s house on Dogwood Lane burned early Thursday morning, and an adult male was found dead inside. Six of Campbell’s children escaped the fire, and two of them ran to a nearby Walmart for help when the fire broke out at about 5:30 a.m.
Around the same time Thursday morning, an SUV rolled into Silver Lake outside Highland with an infant inside. The baby was rescued, and an adult body was later found nearby in the water.
Authorities said the two events — the fire and the vehicle going into the lake — appeared to be related.