Metro-East News

Authorities continue investigation into Campbell deaths, remain mum on details

Justin and Cristy Campbell
Justin and Cristy Campbell

Officials continue to investigate a tragedy in Glen Carbon and Highland that left seven children orphaned, though authorities declined to provide any new information on the investigation.

Cristy Campbell and her ex-husband Justin Campbell died in a confusing series of events Thursday that turned out to be connected — a house fire in Glen Carbon followed by Cristy Campbell driving her car into Silver Lake near Highland, nearly killing her newborn baby. Justin “Jay” Campbell’s body was found amid the burned remains of the home on Dogwood Lane. He had died of a gunshot wound to the head and a gun was later found in Cristy Campbell’s partially submerged vehicle.

Investigators said last week they could not find the bullet that killed Justin Campbell, and could not determine if the bullet came from the gun found in his ex-wife’s car. Whether the bullet matches the gun is one of many questions that remain in the case, though investigators remained hushed Tuesday.

“No new information is available for release at this time,” Madison County Sheriff’s Capt. Thomas Dixon said in an email to the press. He said additional information will be provided when it is available in the form of a press release.

It was unclear if authorities are treating the case as a murder-suicide or if the bullet had been found. If Cristy Campbell killed her ex-husband and tried to kill her children, it’s unclear why, although court records hint at a tumultuous marriage that included reports of Justin Campbell abusing his children and ex-wife. Charges from 2005 allege Justin Campbell slapped Cristy Campbell, who was pregnant at the time. In 2014, records show Cristy Campbell requested that her children only see their father under supervised visits because he pinched, punched and choked some of them.

The children were in the care of relatives as of Thursday.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office and Coroner’s Office and Glen Carbon police are participating in the investigation.

Kelsey Landis: 618-239-2110, @kelseylandis