Murder in the Heartland is taking a closer look at the case of Russell and Rebecca Porter, whose murders were orchestrated by Robert Campbell.
On the night of April 17, 2011, Rebecca, 46, was on the phone with her daughter, Jessica Bullock. She told Bullock she wasn’t feeling well and might have the stomach flu or food poisoning.
Bullock suggested she go to the emergency room, but her mother wanted to wait until the morning.
The following day, Bullock called her mother several times to check on her, but each time, her calls went unanswered.
At around 11 p.m. that night, Bullock drove 45 minutes to Rebecca’s house in Willard, Missouri, where she lived with her 36-year-old husband, Russell.
Rebecca’s car, which had the keys in the ignition, was in the driveway when she arrived.
Bullock knocked on the door, but no one answered. That’s when she contacted the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.
Officers arrived and searched the home, which smelled of bleach, but no one was inside.
They found it suspicious that the couple would leave their personal items behind, including a purse and a cell phone that belonged to Rebecca.
Remains of Russell and Rebecca Porter were found
On July 21, 2011, skeletal remains were found buried in a remote area about 80 miles from Willard, and they were identified as those of Russell and Rebecca.
A medical examiner determined that the couple had been shot in the head.
A police investigation revealed that Russell and his uncle had a never-ending dispute over the family’s 120-acre property, where they both lived in separate homes.
A month before the murders, Russell filed an order of protection against Campbell. In the documents, he said Campbell was harassing and threatening him and his wife.
Investigators believe that Campbell recruited four people, Tony Friend and his wife, Windy Friend, his son, Phillip Friend, and Dusty Hicks, to murder the couple for $100,000.
On April 18, 2011, Hicks entered Russell and Rebecca’s home by cutting a window screen. He then unlocked the front door to let Tony and Phillip inside.
Windy waited outside.
The three men woke the couple and tied them up before forcing them into the truck at gunpoint.
They dropped Wendy off at her home before they drove to Cedarcreek, where they shot the couple and buried their bodies.
Tony, Phillip, Hicks, and Windy had returned to Cedarcreek later that day to make sure they buried the bodies properly.
Russell Porter’s uncle among multiple people arrested
The police arrested Tony, Phillip, Windy, and Hicks. They were all sent to prison for their roles in the disappearance and deaths of Russell and Rebecca.
Campbell was the last suspect to be brought to justice.
On July 13, 2016, a Jasper County jury found him guilty of two counts of second-degree murder, and a judge gave him two consecutive life sentences.
Murder in the Heartland airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.