Milwaukee mother found dead, defendant’s bond set at $1 million

A Milwaukee man accused of first-degree involuntary manslaughter in the death of Tomitka Stewart, a mother of 10 and three stepchildren, had bail set at $1 million Sunday.

Jerrod Stewart, 41, made his first court appearance in Milwaukee County after being taken into custody in Hennepin County, Minnesota. At the time of his arrest, he was not in custody due to GPS monitoring in a domestic violence case involving Tomitka Stewart, identified as his estranged wife, according to court records.

Tomitka Stewart was last seen on April 14 in the area of ​​10th and Center. According to a criminal complaint, her car was spotted on surveillance video that night at North Division High School near 11th and Clarke streets – just around the corner from where she was last seen.

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The video showed Tomitka Stewart’s red Dodge parked on Clarke Street when a gray Mitsubishi pulled up behind it around 7:15 p.m., the complaint states. The driver of the gray Mitsubishi got out and sat in the passenger seat of the red Dodge. Around 8 p.m. there appeared to be “movement” in the red Dodge. The passenger, who arrived in the gray Mitsubishi, then got out, got into the driver’s seat of the red Dodge and drove off. Tomitka Stewart, identified as the original driver of the red Dodge, never got out.

The same camera captured video of a white Ford the next day. The complaint states that the white Ford was parked and a passenger got out and got into the gray Mitsubishi across the street that had been parked there the day before.

According to the complaint, Tomitka Stewart’s red Dodge had a GPS device installed. The device’s data placed her car in the area of ​​Hopkins and Congress around 9:50 p.m. – nearly two hours after it left. It was then driven to the area of ​​29th and Ruby and parked there on the morning of April 15th.

Police found the red Dodge on April 17 with Tomitka Stewart dead in the trunk, the complaint says. An autopsy revealed she suffered 49 stab wounds and blunt force trauma to the head. A family member told investigators that Jerrod Stewart had previously “threatened to kill” Tomitka Stewart, the complaint states.

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Investigators spoke with the driver of the white Ford, who was seen returning to the area of ​​11th, and with Clarke, who said the person who dropped her off was Jerrod Stewart. The driver also said that before dropping off Jerrod Stewart at that location, she picked him up where he left the red Dodge – near 29th Street and Ruby.

The complaint states that Jerrod Stewart’s GPS tracking device also located him at the locations and times identified during surveillance.

Milwaukee police officers traveled to Minnesota to question Jerrod Stewart on April 18, the day after Tomitka Stewart’s body was found. He said he last saw her on April 15, but did not mention that the red Dodge was abandoned near 29th and Ruby and claimed not to know about the white Ford.