Investigators have concluded that Cristy Campbell shot her ex-husband in the head before she drove to Silver Lake and drowned, but stopped short of concluding she intended suicide.
The deaths of Cristy and Justin Campbell left seven children orphaned and caused a community effort to support the children in the wake of the March 16 incident. The family home on Dogwood Lane in Glen Carbon burned in the early hours of the morning with Justin Campbell’s body inside, though the six older children were able to escape.
Cristy Campbell had the youngest child in the car with her as she drove to Silver Lake near Highland. She drowned in the lake, but the infant child was rescued by first responders.
Details of the two deaths have been thin as officials completed their investigation. On Monday, Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn announced that they believe Justin Campbel, 37, died of a gunshot wound inflicted by Cristy Campbell, 32, and that Cristy later died of probable drowning complicated by hypothermia.
At the time of their deaths, Justin Campbell had nicotine and marijuana in his system. He also had a 7 percent saturation of carbon monoxide, but Nonn’s statement indicated that level is common among cigarette smokers.
Cristy Campbell had nicotine and a blood-alcohol level of 0.012, well below the legal limit of 0.08. Nonn’s statement said they had insufficient evidence of Cristy’s state of mind to conclude whether her death was accident or suicide, and thus her manner of death was listed as “undetermined.”
The Campbells were divorced at the time of their deaths, and Justin Campbell had previously pleaded guilty to charges of domestic violence. However, Justin was still living at the house on Dogwood Lane. Their first child was born in 2002, and they married in 2006. But a year before their marriage, Justin Campbell was charged with felony aggravated domestic violence, which was later reduced in exchange for a guilty plea.
They first filed for divorce in 2010, but changed their minds. In 2012, Cristy Campbell filed for an order of protection against Justin, but then allowed it to expire. They divorced in 2013, and a year later Cristy requested supervised visitation for her ex-husband, alleging that the children had told her he punched and choked them. From then on, Justin Campbell’s visitation was to take place at the Kids’ Corner, a court-sanctioned and supervised neutral location.
In all, police confirmed that they had been to the Campbell home about 50 times.
The investigation failed to reveal any additional parties being involved in the deaths, according to Nonn’s statement. Investigating agencies included the Glen Carbon Police Department, Madison County Sheriff’s Department, Illinois State Police Crime Scene Services, the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Madison County Coroner’s Office.