Thursday, July 21, 2022

The Disappearance and Presumed Murder of Rochelle Stubblefield

 

Rochelle Stubblefield vanished in Whiting, Indiana on November 10th, 2015. The then-20-year-old was eight months pregnant at the time of her disappearance. Rochelle was also a student at Calumet College of St. Joseph, where she was studying criminal justice. She was last seen after attending a school basketball game with friends. Rochelle left campus that evening and never returned home. Her loved ones have never seen or heard from her again. 

Police later found Rochelle's car abandoned in Gary. Nearby, police found her broken eyeglasses and shoes. Police also learned that Rochelle was dating a man named Derron Fuller, who was also the father of her unborn child. Ten days after Rochelle's disappearance, police received a tip from two of Fuller's cousins. They told investigators that Fuller admitted to choking and stabbing a woman in the temple who was eight months pregnant with his child. He also said he buried her body at an elementary school in Gary. Fuller's alleged motive was the pregnancy; as he reportedly told his cousins that he did not want to pay child support.

After speaking with Fuller's cousins, police inevitably wanted to question Fuller himself. They finally located him on November 23rd, 2015, in the company of another girlfriend. Fuller told detectives that he knew Rochelle, but they were not dating and he was not the father of her child. He claimed that he was unaware of Rochelle's whereabouts, but that she had spoken about going to Atlanta. 

Although he denied knowing Rochelle's location, detectives still had their suspicions about Fuller. Numerous searches were conducted in Gary, including at the elementary school where Fuller's cousins said Fuller had buried a woman. Unfortunately, the searches did not yield any results. Rochelle's case went cold after that, and years would pass before investigators would finally get a break in the case. 

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Finally, in summer 2019, investigators spoke with the other woman Fuller was dating during November 2015. The woman said that she picked Fuller up at Williams Elementary School in Gary on the day of Rochelle's disappearance. After they drove away, Fuller began throwing several of Rochelle's personal items out the window - in the same location where investigators found Rochelle's glasses and shoes. 

Fuller also told the woman that something happened to Rochelle and he was responsible. The former girlfriend explained that Fuller later told her that he choked Rochelle to death. Investigators had suspicions about Fuller from the beginning, and this information was a huge moving piece in finally being able to charge him in Rochelle's case. 

In July 2020, Derron Fuller was arrested and charged with murdering both Rochelle and her unborn child. He is currently being held without bail. Fuller has entered preliminary "not guilty" pleas to both charges. 

Derron Fuller

Despite the numerous searches, Rochelle's remains have not been found. If you have any information that could help lead to her whereabouts, please contact the Lake County Sheriff's Department 219-755-3400.

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