Stephanie Gillum

Stephanie Gillum

Man Questioned In Woman's Death Says He's Innocent

Indy Resident Denies Making Threat Detailed In Restraining Order

August 13, 2004

INDIANAPOLIS -- An Indianapolis man says police have questioned him hard about the shooting death of a Hamilton County woman he dated, but he insists he doesn't know who killed her.

Willie Dumes, 30, who was prohibited by a court from contacting Stephanie Gillum just weeks before she was found dead Wednesday in a Carmel park, said Friday that he would "give my life before hers any day."

"I love her too much. I did not kill Stephanie. I didn't," Dumes told RTV6's Vicki Duncan. Dumes says he is the father of Gillum's 5-month-old son.

Gillum, 20, of Fishers, was found dead in her Jeep Grand Cherokee at Hazel Landing Park in Carmel. She was shot twice in the head; police said they don't know who killed her.

Though police haven't named Dumes as a suspect, they questioned him about her death in part because her mother accused him in July of threatening to "kill anyone" who prevented him from taking the infant.

In an application for a protective order, Stephanie's mother, Jan Gillum -- who has custody of the infant -- alleged that Dumes "told me he was going to take the child … and kill anyone who got in his way."

The order was issued in July, prohibiting Dumes from contacting Stephanie Gillum, the infant, Jan Gillum, and Jan Gillum's husband.

Dumes, who was arrested last year on suspicion that he hit Stephanie Gillum, denied making a threat.

"I never called Jan and threatened her. Never," Dumes said.

Dumes said police tried to get him to confess to the slaying.

"They said, 'Willie, we know you killed her. Just tell us why you killed her,' " Dumes said. "I told them over and over, 'I did not kill her.' "

Stephanie Gillum's death was Carmel's first homicide since 1998, police said.


On an early Monday morning Carmel Police arrested Willie J. Dumes, 30, of Indianapolis, on a warrant for the murder of Stephanie Gillum. Dumes was charged with one count of Murder and one count of being a Habitual Offender in connection with the homicide of Stephanie Gillum. Gillum had been found dead in her vehicle in a parking at a local park.

Detective Brad Hedrick, Carmel Police Department, asked the City of Carmel GIS to create "a map" showing the jury where the victim was found, who she was with before the murder, and the time and location of the crime.
cell tower map

The first maps the Police Department requested were relatively basic: aerial photography of the investigation site, and points where evidence was found. As the investigation into the murder progressed, however, Detective Brad Hedrick approached Carmel GIS with more evidence to map.

The Detective had obtained detailed information on the victim's cell phone. Cell phones are constantly communicating with a network, sending pings to the nearest transmission tower, which enables calls to be routed correctly. As a cell phone moves, its call is handed off from tower to tower. The carrier keeps records of which towers the phone contacted and when, tracking its movement to within a few hundred yards.

Using the cell phone records and other evidence, Carmel GIS was able to create a digital "trail" of the victim's location throughout the fatal evening. The detailed map produced for the trial was one of many, many maps created for the murder investigation.

The cell phone map was used throughout the murder investigation and criminal trial. The Prosecutor and members of the jury later commented to Detective Hedrick, "The map presented case evidence in a clear, concise manner. It created a clear picture of the crime events, and we were able to focus on the visual display."

Willie Dumes was found guilty of killing his ex-girlfriend Stephanie Gillum, and sentenced to prison.