The Journal Gazette
 
 
Saturday, March 20, 2021 1:00 am

Man charged with murder in woman's death at large

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

Several hours before Heather Hobbs was found dead in her bed from a single gunshot wound to her head, she called a woman asking her to come over. 

The woman wasn't able to come at once. When she knocked on Hobbs' apartment door at Candlelite Court around 1:10 a.m. Feb. 14, there was no answer, but the door was unlocked. Police asked her how Hobbs appeared when she found her. Her answer was “as you see her.” 

Tykwan Walker, 31, of the 2600 block of Maumee Avenue was charged Friday with murder and an enhancement count of using a firearm in the commission of an offense. 

Fort Wayne police are asking for help in finding Walker, who was the subject of a search after Hobbs' death. At that time, police sought Walker and his mother, Debra Smith, 51. Anyone with information on Walker's whereabouts is asked to call 911.  

Several of Walker's family were present when the police arrived, but none told officers that Walker lived with Hobbs in the apartment, according to a probable cause written by homicide Detective Jeff Marsee. They refused to speak to detectives, but Walker's cellphone data indicated he called them at 1 a.m., just a few minutes before Hobbs was discovered. 

Crime scene investigators found Walker's backpack with a box of .40-caliber ammunition. They found a .40-caliber bullet in a pillow where Hobbs was found, court records said. 

The blanket covering Hobbs had bloody handprints on it from moving the blanket around on her body, indicating that someone had disturbed the scene before law enforcement arrived, court documents said. 

Police found mail belonging to Walker with the Candlelite Court address on it and photos of Hobbs and Walker hanging on the wall. But other items appeared to have been removed, including a memory card missing from a security camera lying on a table, records said.

Neighbors said they'd heard steps on the stairway as though someone was moving up and down the stairs before police arrived, court documents said. 

In the past, friends said Hobbs reported that Walker hit her, documents said, and in late January, and she went to a hospital for a cut to her forehead and a broken nose. 

In September, she wrote to one of her friends: “If I die, it was TYKWAN that did it.” One of the friends said she talked to Hobbs at 11:22 p.m. Feb. 13 until Hobbs arrived at her apartment at 11:30 p.m. At seven minutes past midnight, Hobbs called her daughter on Facebook messaging, but the call went unanswered, court documents said. 

One of Walker's associates told police Walker left his home at 12:30 a.m. and went to the apartment he shared with Hobbs, events corroborated by Walker's cellphone records. Around 1 a.m., Walker made phone calls to two people, both of whom immediately drove to Candlelite Court.

After that, Walker made numerous phone calls for 23 minutes until his cellphone was turned off, court records said. A message to Walker reads “five minutes” and a warning to turn off his cellphone, which Walker did, court documents said. One of the friends Walker called at 1 a.m. denied to police that he talked to Walker, saying he only spoke to Walker's sister, who told him “something happened to the girl,” referring to Hobbs, court records said. 

jduffy@jg.net


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