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Three arrested for witness tampering charges in Rincon-Miller’s murder case

By Staff | May 10, 2024

This week, between May 9-10, Christopher D. Horne, 39; Shanice Stewart, 36; and Varaka Stewart, 38, were arrested for threatening, tampering with and coercing a witness in the murder investigation of Kayla Rincon-Miller.

According to a report issued today by the Cape Coral Police Department, detectives with the CCPD’s Violent Crimes Unit met with the victim who reported the following:

On March 18, 2024, the day after Kayla’s murder and the day before the arrest of Thomas Stein, a small white sedan arrived at the victim’s home with Christopher Horne (also known as “Buster”), who was recognized as a friend of Thomas Stein. Buster was with an adult black female and black male. During the conversation that followed, the female identified herself as Buster’s mother and the male identified himself as Buster’s father. The couple informed the victim that “Buster” and Thomas Stein were involved in the murder of Kayla Rincon-Miller that occurred the night before. They advised the victim to follow them and bring along Thomas Stein. Detectives later identified the subjects in the vehicle as Shanice Stewart and Christopher D. Horne, who both reside in Cape Coral.

The report indicates the victim and Thomas Stein, fearing for their lives and feeling like they did not have a choice, followed them to a location in Cape Coral. When they arrived in the area of Gator Circle, the victim and Thomas Stein were threatened to keep quiet and not cooperate with law enforcement. At one point, Christopher D. Horne brandished a pistol while threatening them, police said.

The victim was also threatened by another black female who was at the location when they arrived. That female was later identified by the CCPD as Varaka Stewart, the sister of Shanice Stewart, and the aunt of Christopher “Buster” Horne. The victim was threatened repeatedly that if they did not comply and keep stay silent, they would be killed.

The next day, March 19, detectives arrested Thomas Stein, and the victim reported that the same two black females arrived at her residence driving a gray Mazda SUV this time. The women again told the victim to keep quiet and keep Thomas Stein quiet. During this meeting, the victim was promised money to keep quiet, the report says.

Between March 25, and April 17, 2024, the victim reportedly received a number of phone calls. During those calls, the female caller, believed to be Shanice Stewart, implored the victim to keep quiet and not to cooperate with law enforcement and assure that Thomas Stein did the same. The caller threatened and intimidated the victim, indicating she had people on the inside and the outside that could get to them. During one call, the caller thanked the victim for protecting her “baby.”

On April 17, 2024, Christopher (“Buster”) Horne Jr. was arrested for the murder of Kayla Rincon-Miller, and later that day, the victim received a phone call from the same previous caller who stated, “they got my son” and that she was not playing games. Those calls were all believed to be from Shanice Stewart, police said

Christopher D. Horne, Shanice Stewart and Varaka Stewart are now charged with one count each in violation of F.S.S. 914.22 – Tampering with a Witness, a First Degree Felony.

The case was developed and investigated to protect the witness in the murder investigation of Kayla Rincon-Miller. The Cape Coral Police Department was assisted by The Florida Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force, Fort Myers Office, who were crucial in locating and arresting all wanted subjects. We would also like to thank the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the State Attorney’s Office.