COLUMBIA, IL. (KPLR) – Authorities are linking three brutal homicides in the area to domestic violence. A mother and her three year old son were found shot to death in a South St. Louis apartment Saturday morning. St. Louis Police say a man who committed suicide appears to be the shooter. The woman had filed a domestic violence complaint against him this spring.
In Columbia, Illinois, the Major Case Squad arrested the former boyfriend of 17-year old Erin Schneider of Columbia who was stabbed to death Thursday. 20-year old Jordan Kuykendall is charged with first degree murder. His bond was set at one million dollars.
Columbia Police Chief Joe Edwards said the suspect is currently under guard at a St. Louis hospital where he is recovering from injuries he suffered in a vehicle crash Thursday.
The Major Case Squad Deputy Commander Major Tom Coppotelli praised the 25 detectives for quickly solving the case. "This was a case that has a truly innocent victim," he said. Schneider's parents had been seeking a permanent order of protection against Kuykendall. A hearing was scheduled the day she died. Kuykendall was already under an emergency order to stay away from her.
"We're very confident we have him and there's a ton of tangible evidence that points to him," Coppotelli said during a news conference announcing the arrest Saturday night. "There's no doubt this is our suspect," he added.
Coppotelli reminded residents to avoid abusive relationships. "These types of incidents speak clearly of how dangerous some people can be, so be careful out there and use good judgment," he advised.
The officers offered their condolences to the Schneider family and promised they would stand by them during the trial.
Visitation for Erin Schneider will be Sunday, June 30 from 3pm to 8pm at the Quernheim Funeral Home in Waterloo. Her funeral is scheduled for 10am Monday at the same funeral home. Memorials may be made to Violence Protection.
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