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Crime & Courts

Bullets, gas cans, checkbook among items seized from Avila murder-suicide site

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Published:   |   Updated: May 16, 2014 at 08:45 PM

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Hillsborough County homicide detectives seized from a burned-out house in Avila last week as they try to figure out why a man shot to death his wife and two teenage children, torched the house and then killed himself.

The bodies of Darrin Campbell, 49, his 51-year-old wife, Kimberly, and the couple’s two children, Colin, 18 and 16-year-old Megan, all were found dead of gunshot wounds to the head after the early morning fire on May 7. The family rented the house from retired professional tennis player James Blake.

Deputies say they know what happened but don’t know why. Investigators hope the items seized from the house will help answer that question.

Before taking the items from the home, detectives obtained a search warrant to preserve the integrity of the evidence. The document was made public Friday.

Dozens of items were taken from the house at 16223 Sierra de Avila, ranging from an extension ladder taken from the east side of the house to a green lighter found on the pool deck.

Detectives recovered the .40 caliber Sig Sauer handgun believed to be the murder/suicide weapon, and shell casings and spent bullets from three rooms. Some bullets were taken from pillows, suggesting the homicide victims may have been shot while in bed. Detectives also took red and yellow gasoline cans and piles of miscellaneous fireworks scattered throughout the house.

They seized a checkbook ledger, memory cards and files, financial paperwork, a desktop computer and two iPhones, according to the search warrant.

Investigators are conducting a financial audit on Campbell, as well as searching his computer histories and interviewing friends and family members as they search for answers. Deputies said Campbell bought the gas cans and fireworks three days before he killed his family and set the house on fire.

Campbell was an executive whose career featured stints at high-profile companies such as PODS and Anchor Glass Containers. He has no criminal record and no apparent history of mental health issues, and volunteered as treasurer for the exclusive Carrollwood Day School, where both his children were enrolled.

His last employer was Vastec, a Channelside-based digital services provider, where he was the chief operating officer. He had taken time off from work at Vastec shortly before the killings.

kmorelli@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7760

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