Man charged with murder in pregnant Indiana woman’s 2015 disappearance
Rochelle Thomas Stubblefield was eight months pregnant when she went missing
The ex-lover of Rochelle Thomas Stubblefield, an Indiana woman who went missing in 2015, has been charged with murder despite no body being found.
Derron Fuller, 25, was charged with murder in the death of 20-year-old Stubblefield who was pregnant with their child, The Times of Northwest Indiana reported. A Lake County judge entered not guilty pleas on Fuller’s behalf for the charges of killing Thomas and her unborn child on Tuesday.
Fuller is being held without bond.
Lake Criminal Court records revealed that Stubblefield went missing on Nov. 10, 2015. It is believed she was killed after she left Calumet College in Hammond, a private Roman Catholic college in Whiting, Indiana.
Stubblefield, eight months pregnant at the time, was studying criminal justice and expecting to pursue a career in law enforcement. She was reported missing two days later, on Nov. 12.
“We never had any problems with her,” her mother, Thelma Thomas, said in 2015. “She got good grades.”
Earlier this month, Fuller was extradited from Kentucky to Indiana and charged with two counts of murder. One charge is for allegedly killing Stubblefield and the other, the fetus. There is another count of obstruction of justice, a level 6 felony.
Fuller’s attorney Scott King, said it was odd that authorities investigated the case five years ago but did not gather much evidence. But at the time, tipsters did identify Fuller as the killer. The Chicago Tribune reported that Fuller’s cousins told him that “he was afraid of paying child support so he choked and stabbed her in the temple.”
Court records also showed that investigators went to Texas and re-interviewed Fuller’s ex-girlfriend who gave a formal statement in 2019. She also claimed Fuller admitted to killing Stubblefield.
The unidentified woman told authorities last year that Fuller told her he killed Stubblefield after picking her up in November 2015 where her abandoned car was found near the Dorie Miller Housing Complex. Her broken glasses and shoes were also found. The woman claimed that Fuller threw some of Stubblefield’s belongings out of the car window.
At the time of her disappearance, Fuller denied to police that he was in a relationship with Stubblefield. He also told investigators that the child, whom she planned to name Amir Dashaun Thomas Stubblefield, was not his.
“She’s telling her mom that it’s mine, but I don’t know why,” Fuller allegedly told a detective in 2015.
Court records accuse him of burying Stubblefield’s body near Williams Elementary School in Gary. Two canine searches for Stubblefield’s body were conducted in 2016 and 2017 by the police. However, her body has never been found.
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