Records reveal a history of domestic abuse from Keland Hill towards his wife
VANCOUVER — The Clark Major Crimes Unit has released a more detailed timeline of the events leading up to the murder of Tiffany Hill in the parking lot of Sarah J. Anderson Elementary School in Hazel Dell on Nov. 26.
Hill, a former Marine sergeant, was gunned down by her estranged husband, Keland Hill, while sitting in the driver’s seat of her minivan. Her mother, who was sitting in the passenger seat, was also shot, but survived. The couple’s three children were also in the van at the time of the shooting, but were not physically injured.
The 38-year old then fled the scene, but took his own life after a brief standoff with deputies at the intersection of Padden Parkway and Northeast Andresen.
“That was my daughter. That was my best friend,” said Tiffany’s mother during a candlelight vigil on Sunday at Esther Short Park in downtown Vancouver. “That was my princess.”
Court records show Keland Hill, who also was a former Marine, had been charged with attempted murder involving Tiffany from when the couple lived in North Carolina. They had moved to Vancouver three years ago.
Her mother was visiting from out of state at the time of Hill’s murder.
“I tried to save my baby,” she said through tears. “I came here to bring her home with me and the kids. I knew something wrong was going on.”
According to a timeline released Monday by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Hill had filed a police report on Sept. 11 of this year, alleging that Keland had pushed her into a wall and prevented her from calling 9-1-1. Hill was arrested on a charge of fourth-degree assault and interfering with the reporting of domestic violence. The charge was upgraded to second-degree domestic violence felony assault in early November after new medical information was received.
The following day, Hill was issued a no-contact order involving his estranged wife and released from jail on bail. The no-contact order was amended several times over the following months.
Two days later, on Sept. 14, Tiffany reported that Keland had been asking about coaching their child at the bowling alley, and if his Tiffany would be present. That information was forwarded to the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office for review as a possible violation of the no-contact order.
On Sept. 19, Tiffany reports that Keland tried to FaceTime her, a call she ignored. Hill claims it was an accident, and that he terminated the call before it could go through.
On Oct. 6, CCSO received a report from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office that Hill had attempted to purchase a rifle at a Wal-Mart in Portland, but had been denied due to the no contact order showing up in his background check. Court documents show Hill claimed he was trying to buy the weapon to get rid of “vermin” in his house.
Charges are forwarded to the county prosecutor for an attempt to possess a firearm in violation of the restraining order. Hill was arrested on the charges over a month later, on Nov. 7.
On Oct. 10, Tiffany reported that Keland had approached her at the Peach Tree restaurant. By the time deputies arrived he had left the area.
On Nov. 7, Tiffany Hill reports seeing Keland at several locations throughout the day. Deputies later find him at a nearby bowling alley. A GPS tracking device is found on Tiffany’s vehicle. Hill is arrested and his phone and vehicle are seized as evidence.
Based on evidence obtained in that arrest, as well as new medical information from the incident on Sept. 11, Hill’s charges are upgraded and county prosecutors request that his bail be increased from $75,000 to $2 million, due to a risk assessment showing that Tiffany Hill is at “extreme risk” of being killed by the defendant.
A judge declines to meet the prosecuting attorney’s request, but raises Hill’s bail to $250,000. On Nov. 21, Hill makes bail and is released.
Five days later, his estranged wife is dead and their three children are without parents.
It remains unclear where Hill obtained the weapon used to kill his wife and take his own life.
At Sunday’s vigil, dozens of people shared memories of Tiffany Hill. They recalled her devotion to her children, her willingness to get up before the sun to bake for members of Sarah J. Anderson Elementary’s Parent Teacher Association. She was lauded for her dedication to her fellow military service members.
“You are our flame. Your strength will guide us and help us heal,” said one friend. “And your star will shine on forever.”
A GoFundMe page set up to help cover expenses for Hill’s three children has raised over $93,000. Their family hopes to bring the children, and Hill’s body, back to the east coast and away from the city of Vancouver where it all ended so violently.