Third man charged in death of Twin Lakes man

By Jason Arndt

The Twin Lakes Police Department announced an Illinois man has been arrested and charged with the murder of a Kenneth Thoma.

Joshua C. Grimaldi, 18, of McHenry, Illinois, is now the third person implicated in the homicide. He was arrested by village police on Feb. 8.

Kenosha County prosecutors charged Grimaldi on Feb. 10 with one count of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of hiding corpse, both with party to a crime modifiers, according to online court records.

Online court records show Grimaldi made his initial appearance on Feb. 10 before Kenosha County Court Commissioner Loren Keating and received a $1 million cash bond.

Grimaldi was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Thursday when he could potentially issue a plea.

According to the Twin Lakes Police Department, officers arrested Grimaldi after conducting a wide-ranging investigation into the Oct. 14 murder of Thoma.

“In the days since the murder occurred, investigators conducted a comprehensive investigation that included numerous interviews, reviewing hundreds of hours of digital evidence, and serving several search warrants,” police said in a news release. “Investigators used all available resources and partnered with other law enforcement agencies to apprehend the suspects in this case.”

Joey L. Miracle, 18, Twin Lakes and Thomas R. Wilton, 20, Trevor, face the same charges as Grimaldi.

Miracle and Wilton each appeared preliminary hearings on Jan. 26, where Keating found probable cause a felony was committed, and bound both of them over for trial.

The two suspects, according to online court records, both pleaded not guilty to the crimes.

Grimaldi, formerly of Twin Lakes, allegedly acted as a “lookout” while Miracle shot Thoma behind the Tan Oaks apartment complex along Wilmot Avenue.

Initially missing
A family member, according to a criminal complaint, reported Thoma, 60, missing on Oct. 19.

Less than a month later a man working on dirt bike jumps in a wooded area found Thoma buried beneath plywood in a shallow grave behind apartment complex where Thoma lived, the complaint states.

Authorities identified Thoma through dental records.

On Nov. 6, the complaint states the man began digging in a deep hole and removed about three wheelbarrows full of dirt when he found a piece of plywood buried in the location.

The man then moved the plywood, taking out two more two wheelbarrows full of dirt, and reportedly struck what he initially believed was a rock.

The man, however, soon discovered it wasn’t a rock he struck.

As he dug out more, according to the criminal complaint, he found grey hair, eyes, a nose and ears peaking through the soil and quickly covered it back up because he “was scared.”

He immediately reported the discovery to the Twin Lakes Police Department.

Authorities removed the body from the wooded area and preliminary findings from an autopsy conducted by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office revealed Thoma had been shot in the back of the head, according to the complaint.

Out-of-state tip
On Dec. 12, according to the complaint, the Twin Lakes Police Department received a phone call from counterparts in Wellington, Ohio, stating Miracle’s stepfather told them Miracle killed Thoma in Twin Lakes.

The complaint alleges Miracle’s stepfather overheard a conversation between Miracle’s mother and her daughter noting Miracle “did something bad with his gun and that he had to get rid of it.” He learned Miracle sold the gun to his half-brother.

“(The stepfather) said that they went on to say that they tried to bury his body, but they could only bury it so far – Miracle couldn’t bury it all the way and that’s how the body got found,” the complaint states.

The Twin Lakes Police Department, meanwhile, confirmed Miracle had stayed at Tan Oak apartments in October and November when the crime occurred.

Four days later, on Dec. 16, Twin Lakes authorities interviewed Miracle’s half-brother, who told them he was in a car with Wilton.

Wilton, according to the half-brother, told him Miracle allegedly shot and killed Thoma.

Miracle’s mother, the complaint states, offered a written statement indicating Miracle told her he “had to get rid of my gun. There was this guy raping girls and I had to take care of him.”

The Twin Lakes Police Department investigated Miracle’s allegations against Thoma and did not find any record of him committing any sexual assaults.

Weeks later, the mother received a call from her daughter, who said, “Mom, Joey murdered someone and they found the body.”

In an interview on Dec. 14, according to the complaint, Miracle told a Twin Lakes police official he was with Thoma on Oct. 14.

Miracle said the victim was leaving with another man, who later reported him missing, and that Thoma told Miracle that he was leaving and would return in about an hour.

The complaint alleges Miracle came back to Thoma’s apartment, where Thoma offered him a Monster energy drink and “crack,” which Miracle told police “was not his thing.”

Miracle told Twin Lakes police he and Thoma left out the back door and he eventually split off from Thoma in the parking lot.

Since then, according to the complaint, Twin Lakes police learned Thoma did not incur any data usage of his cellular phone.

Investigators discovered a text message sent to Thoma at 10:45 p.m. on Oct. 14 remained opened.

The Twin Lakes police specifically asked Miracle if Thoma had sexually assaulted someone.

“Defendant Miracle said he didn’t know and would have to look on CCAP to find the truth,” the complaint states.

The next day, on Dec. 15, Miracle allegedly did not deny killing Thoma and told police he was tired and wished to go home.

Authorities, however, arrested Miracle.

Meanwhile, as for Grimaldi, police learned the man lived at Tan Oak apartments at the time of Thoma’s homicide.

Grimaldi, according to the complaint, said he did not personally know Thoma and only saw him in passing while he lived in Twin Lakes.