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In this image taken from a store security video, homicide victim Shannon Hastings, foreground, is seen leaving a Bloomington convenience store May 16 with Kyle Brestan, the Bloomington man accused of killing her. The video was obtained by Bloomington police as part of the investigation into the death of Hastings, whose body was found May 21 in a room at the Econo Lodge on Brock Drive on Bloomington's west side

BLOOMINGTON — Hours before she was stabbed more than 100 times, Shannon Hastings received a warning that she needed to change her dangerous lifestyle from a man identified in court documents as a former boyfriend.

Hastings' body was found May 21 by a worker in a room at the Econo Lodge on Brock Drive on Bloomington's west side. A folding knife found in a nearby dumpster is believed to be the weapon used to stab her in the torso and neck.

Court records related to search warrants issued in Brestan's case disclose contents of a lengthy text conversation the victim had with Eric Ryan Crosiar, identified as Hastings' ex-boyfriend and the father of her 1-year-old child. 

Text messages collected by police from Hastings' cell phone showed an exchange with Crosiar starting around 6:50 p.m. on May 15 and continuing until 1:50 a.m. the following day. 

"You do not have to be a prostitute. You choose to be," Crosiar tells Hastings in the message, in which he also says he still loves her.

Shortly after the exchanges with Crosiar, all activity stopped on Hastings' phone, leading police to conclude that she may have been killed May 16, five days before her body was found.

In a separate email to Hastings, Crosiar warns her that "she may obtain an incurable disease or someone may 'kill you,'" according to an affidavit filed May 24 by Bloomington police Detective Joshua Swartzentruber. 

A second man connected to Hastings also was interviewed by police.

Brian R. Vincent is a homeless sex offender who rented the room where Hastings was killed. He had been at the hotel since at least May 14, according to a search warrant request filed in court.

Vincent was arrested for failure to register as a sex offender on May 22 by Bloomington police who tracked him down at a home in Washington. He was held for a week on a $100,000 bond and interviewed by detectives before being released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond. 

The cell phone records that led police to contact Vincent and Crosiar also put Kyle Brestan on the BPD list of persons of interest. He was interviewed by police May 23 at his home in the 200 block of Davis Avenue in Bloomington.

Before police talked with Brestan, they had obtained security video from the Circle K store at 1903 W. Market St. that showed Brestan and Hastings at the checkout counter of the store, one of several stores in the area, the pair visited.

Footage recorded about two hours later from a public safety camera on West Market Street showed Brestan riding a bike, wearing jeans with what appeared to be blood stains.

Brestan's story to police about the injuries to his hands was discredited by witnesses who challenged his assertion that he had been cutting trees, according to police.

The investigation into Hastings' murder has generated about 1,000 pages of reports and potential evidence and statements from 150 possible witnesses.

In addition to the murder charges, Brestan also faces multiple sexual assault and child pornography charges in connection with an alleged relationship with a minor girl in an unrelated case.

His contact with the girl included a stay at his home lasting several days during her spring break, according to authorities. Pornographic photos of the girl were found by police on Brestan's cell phone during the homicide investigation, said police.

Brestan remains in jail in lieu of $600,000. He is scheduled in court Sept. 27 on the murder charges.     

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Follow Edith Brady-Lunny on Twitter: @pg_blunny



McLean County Courts Reporter

McLean County courts reporter for The Pantagraph.