CPS report triggered arrest in Northport homicide
A 4-year-old boy’s ongoing nightmares about “a dead lady” and his description of how she died led homicide detectives to arrest his father in the slaying of a Stevens County woman, according to new court documents.
The boy’s mother contacted Child Protective Services on Nov. 24 – two days before the decomposing body of Narleen B. Campton, 62, was discovered in her Northport home about 10 miles south of the Canadian border.
Detectives investigating Campton’s death had heard the boy’s father, Robert Cody Wirtz, had connections to Campton. They interviewed the boy after learning of the CPS report and concluded he knew details of Campton’s homicide that had never been publicly released.
The boy asked detectives if they knew what his dad had done when they sat down to talk to him Dec. 7. The detectives inquired, and the boy replied, “He killed a lady,” according to court documents filed Tuesday in Stevens County Superior Court.
The boy is in protective custody, said Tim Rasmussen, Stevens County prosecutor.
Detectives believe Wirtz killed Campton during a drug-fueled robbery. Sheriff Kendle Allen has said he believes others were involved and more arrests are expected.
An autopsy concluded Campton died of blunt force and sharp trauma, including tortuous incisions on her face, but was also choked, documents say.
Campton’s friend, Bo Wiley, told detectives he’d driven Campton to the grocery store recently because her 32-year-old son, Azariah E. Hulsey, had taken her car, gotten arrested and was in jail.
Wiley said Hulsey’s girlfriend wanted to visit Campton, but Campton was reluctant because the woman “had problems with methamphetamine and had stolen from her in the past.”
According to court records, Hulsey’s girlfriend is friends with Wirtz.
On Nov. 30, detectives interviewed Wirtz’s roommate at a motel and were told Wirtz returned after Thanksgiving and appeared “freaked out.”
But it wasn’t until detectives learned of the CPS report and spoke to Wirtz’s son that they developed probable cause to arrest him, according to court documents.
Detectives called to arrange a second interview with the boy last week and were told by his mother that he continued “to suffer from nightmares, was sleep walking, and was crying about bad things,” according to court documents. Campton was found on Nov. 26. Wirtz was arrested on Dec. 8.