A person of interest in the homicide of a 33-year-old Wilmington woman was arrested Thursday evening in Dayton after authorities hunted him for three days.
James Carver, 40, last known to be living in the New Vienna area, was arrested at a Dayton residence at 7 p.m. Thursday, according to Highland County Prosecuting Attorney Anneka Collins.
Carver was previously deemed a person of interest in the shooting of Heather Camp, 33, of Wilmington, and authorities had been tracking him since her death on Tuesday, according to various officials. As previously reported, Camp was taken to the Adena Greenfield Medical Center by an acquaintance at approximately 6 a.m. Tuesday with a gunshot wound to the chest. She did not survive the injury.
Collins said Carver was arrested at a home in Dayton as law enforcement surveilled a suspect vehicle near the residence. According to Collins, another person with whom law enforcement wanted to speak came out of the house and was immediately taken into investigative custody.
“Within 10 minutes, (Carver) came out of the house, another car pulled in to pick him up, and as soon as he got in the car, law enforcement surrounded him and pulled him out of the car,” Collins said. “He was taken into custody without incident.”
The Highland County Sheriff’s Office and Greenfield Police Department promptly responded to the scene, Collins said.
Collins did not release the identities of the two other people involved.
The arrest followed a three-day search that led investigators from Greenfield to Dayton, and, for part of Thursday afternoon, Warren County, officials said.
According to a press release from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, the WCSO received information that a cell phone belonging to Carver was believed to be in the area of Corwin Road in Wayne Township, Warren County, and that the cell phone signal was hitting off of a tower in the area.
Deputies and detectives from the WCSO and detectives from the Highland County Sheriff’s Office checked multiple locations in the area of Oregonia, but were unable to locate the phone or Carver, according to the release.
The Butler County Sheriff’s Office Air Support Unit was also requested to respond to assist with the search, the release said.
The search of the area was terminated at 3:35 p.m., according to the release.
Earlier in the day, the Highland County Coroner’s Office backtracked on a statement about the victim being shot in Wilmington and later taken to a Greenfield hospital.
Highland County Coroner Dr. Jeff Beery said Thursday morning via text message that his office “does not have evidence that the shooting took place in Clinton Co.”
One of Beery’s investigators, Dr. Jim McKown, said Wednesday it was believed that Heather Camp, 33, of Wilmington, had been shot by her boyfriend in Wilmington at approximately 10 p.m. Monday, then taken to the Adena Greenfield Medical Center early Tuesday morning. Officials said a resuscitation attempt was not successful and the case is being investigated as a homicide.
Beery’s Thursday statement apparently corrected McKown’s information about the shooting occurring in Wilmington. Beery declined to comment further.
Meanwhile, Collins issued a similar statement to Beery’s.
“We have no evidence that this shooting occurred in Clinton County,” she said. “At this time, this is a pending and open and active investigation and it would be best in the service of justice to allow the professionals in law enforcement to do their job and bring this case to a conclusion.”
Numerous Facebook posts Tuesday and Wednesday indicated Camp and Carver were a couple.
McKown, who conducted the initial examination for the coroner’s office, said the body had facial bruising indicating physical trauma from five to six days previous until the day of her death.
Carver has a lengthy criminal record, having been convicted of more than 30 offenses in Clinton County and Highland County courts, according to online records.
Court records show Carver has spent time incarcerated for offenses including aggravated assault, attempted abduction, domestic violence, receiving stolen property, disorderly conduct, assault and endangering children.
Carver allegedly failed to appear for a scheduled Feb. 1, 2019 Clinton County Municipal Court appearance for a charge of endangering children, according to court records.
As of Wednesday, a Facebook account under the name James Carver showed photos of a man appearing to be in his 30s or 40s with facial tattoos, but all other posts were private. One photo showed a logo containing a swastika, a skull and guns, as well as the text, “Aryan Strikeforce Combat 18.” That account is no longer available.
Anyone with information on the death is urged to contact the Highland County Sheriff’s Office at 937-393-1421, Greenfield Police Department at 937-981-7777 or the Highland County Coroner’s Office at 937-393-6633, or, for anonymous tips, call or text TIP411.
Brown Funeral Home in Wilmington is handling funeral arrangements for Camp, according to Brown Funeral Home. A previous article stated funeral arrangements were pending with Fisher-Edgington Funeral Home.
A Facebook fundraiser has been set up to assist with funeral expenses. It can be accessed at http://bit.ly/2NlfWer .
On Thursday night, Collins lauded local detectives for their work, saying they had been “conducting the investigation quietly” over the past few days in hopes of taking Carver in.
The News Journal staff contributed to this story.