FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — It was the moment Donna Krider had been praying for since Valentine’s Day of last year when her daughter was killed with a single bullet.
On Sunday, her daughter’s accused killer, Tykwan Walker, 31, is now in custody at the Greene County Jail in Greene County, Arkansas. He’s being held on a drug possession charge and on hold for murder. It’s unclear when extradition to Indiana will take place.
“It’s a bittersweet moment. It’s like living that day all over again,” Krider said Monday at a family barbecue at her home in South Whitley where her daughter, Heather Hobbs, grew up. The family barbecue was organized quickly because of the arrest, she said.
“I’m glad he’s off the streets so he can’t hurt anyone else.”
Krider had been trying to track his whereabouts on her Facebook page since Walker disappeared right after Heather was found in her bed with one shot to her head. The blanket covering Hobbs had bloody handprints on it moving it around, police said.
Someone in Arkansas contacted her and police confirmed Walker had been arrested.
“He was down there on the run. He was going by the name of Rome and apparently living with one of his cousins,” Krider said.
As soon as Fort Wayne police confirmed Walker had been arrested, Krider called everyone on her phone to tell them the news. Hobbs left behind five siblings and a daughter, Jadin Parrett, extended family, and friends.
Jessica Sparks, Hobbs ‘sister, and Jessica Moore, her best friend from childhood and beyond, finished each other sentences talking about Heather.
“It just makes it seem real that she’s gone, And even though he’s now caught, we can’t have her back,” Sparks said.
Everyone pitched in to bring the barbecue together on Monday, a beautiful day to remember veterans and, for this family, Heather.
“I just wanted Donna to have her family, all of us around her today because it’s a hard day,” Moore said.
They both called Heather “amazing.” She was so giving and loving, Sparks said, and a friend to everyone she met.
“She was the first person I ever called if I had any problems or something happened or needed someone to talk to,” Sparks said.
Heather was a CMA – certified medical assistant – and worked in several nursing homes taking care of the elderly, Krider said.
Losing her daughter to such violence put her in the hospital. She often feels numb and has recurring nightmares.
One recurring image Krider can’t get out of her mind comes to her in the middle of the night.
“Sometimes I lay in bed and I just think about how scared she was when he pulled that gun on her. And I just can’t imagine. It causes nightmares,” Krider said in February on the one-year anniversary of Heather’s death. Her body was found around 1:20 a.m. Valentine’s Day.
Krider had to identify Heather through her tattoos because the Allen County Coroner wanted to spare her from seeing her daughter shot in the head.
Before her death, Heather had become frightened of Walker and planned on leaving him once her lease ran out at Candlelite Court Apartments where she was killed.
If I die, it was TYKWAN that did it,” Heather wrote to one of her friends. Police confirmed he lived there through mail sent to him at Hobbs’ address and photos of the two hanging on the wall. Hobbs met Walker in July 2020 on Facebook. Phone records also placed him there the night Hobbs was killed.
“To have him not living. He can be behind bars for the rest of his life, suffering because that’s what he deserves,” Moore said.
Three other siblings let Mariah Krider do the talking for two siblings, Eric Estep and Raychel Stevens, as they stood in a rock garden at Krider’s home dedicated to Heather with angels and flowers. Later they all drove to the local cemetery nearby where Hobbs is laid to rest with a large tombstone, decorated with angels and flowers that will never die.
“We all slept better. We all woke up this morning feeling much better about the circumstances and the situation now that’s taken place” Mariah Krider said.