Man charged with tampering in connection to murder of Houston mother of 5 given $500K bond

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Tuesday, February 28, 2023
Man on parole for murder charged in connection to Leslie Obi's killing
The 57-year-old told ABC13 he knew Leslie Obi and admitted to helping another man, who he claims killed her, move her body out of his apartment. Still, no one has been charged with her murder.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- One man has been charged over a month after a body found in southeast Houston was positively identified as a mother of five who had been missing for two weeks.

James Campbell, 57, is charged with tampering/fabricating physical evidence in connection to 43-year-old Leslie Obi's death and was booked into the Harris County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

ABC13 spoke to Campbell last month at his apartment on Scott Street, which is about seven miles away from where Obi was last seen.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Have you seen her? Police search for woman who went missing Jan. 11 in southwest Houston

Campbell told ABC13 he knew Obi from his first job and admitted to helping another man, who he claims killed Obi, move her body out of his apartment, and clean up.

Obi was reported missing by family members on Jan. 12. She was last seen around 8 a.m. on Jan. 11 near Charleston Park Drive and Highway 90 in southwest Houston.

Further investigation indicated that Obi was killed inside Campbell's apartment on Scott Street, according to police. Investigators said he tampered with Obi's body following her death and had it discarded.

SEE ALSO: Where's Leslie Obi? HPD homicide investigators comb SE Houston apartment complex

On Jan. 18, a body was discovered in the woods at Cullen Boulevard and Wilmington Street. Police said park employees were canvassing the area for a remodeling job when they came across the body.

The body was positively identified as that of Obi on Jan. 25. Autopsy results revealed she had suffered trauma to her body, and the medical examiner's office ruled her death a homicide.

Campbell was arrested on Monday, Feb. 27, without incident, according to HPD. Although Campbell has been charged with tampering, still, no one is charged with Obi's murder.

According to court documents, Campbell admitted to moving the body of a deceased female from his apartment without notifying authorities.

During his first court appearance, Law Hearing Officer Lionel Castro read aloud from charging documents and said, "You claimed to the police that someone else had killed her, left the body in your apartment, and you had paid a crackhead to remove her body from the apartment and cleaned up the blood in the apartment."

Campbell was on parole at the time of his arrest. He spent 18 years of a 45-year sentence in prison for a murder in Washington County more than 36 years ago. He's been out on parole since 2005 which was extended until 2037.

Anyone with additional information on the suspect(s) in this case is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or speak anonymously with Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.