A Bakersfield Police Department search warrant states Derek Connell used the phone app FaceTime to contact a relative who was out of the country and show them video of his dead mother and stepfather.
BPD says 29-year-old Connell shot his mother, Kim Higginbotham, and stepfather, Christopher Higginbotham inside the couple’s home in northwest Bakersfield Saturday, April 30. Kim Higginbotham was a popular kindergarten teacher in Delano.
Police say Connell used FaceTime to show a relative the two dead bodies inside the home. That relative contacted police, and told the dispatcher that both appeared to be dead, lying in a pool of blood. Connell was arrested while trying to leave the home after officers arrived, according to the warrant.
Also, according to the warrant, Connell told officers that the Higginbotham’s were shot. Officers say they found two bottles of bleach, one opened, and a towel in a storage area, and reported that it appeared someone had poured bleach on Christopher Higginbotham’s skin and clothes, likely attempting to clean up the blood. A spent bullet was found near Kim Higginbotham’s body.
Connell is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and is being held without bail. A judge ruled Connell is eligible for the death penalty if convicted. Connell is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment May 11.