Stabbing death of young mother has police looking for person of interest

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EAST ST. LOUIS, IL. (KPLR) – The stabbing death of a young mother sends East St. Louis police searching for a person of interest.  25-year-old Montrell Cooper is wanted for questioning in the stabbing death of 25-year-old Michelle Rowling.  Investigators say the two were in an on-again, off-again relationship.  Rowling's body was found Saturday night inside her apartment at the Gomper's Housing Units.

According to police, Cooper was sent to prison in 2012 for stabbing Rowling but was released this year.  One investigator said Cooper was arrested again this year for assaulting Rowling.  

Friends of Rowling said she feared for her safety.  They showed us a Facebook post made just days before she was stabbed to death.  The post indicated she wanted friends to tell her children she loved them dearly if anything should happen to her.  She also said to tell her mamma she loves her.

“This should not have happened to her,” said Conasia Raymond.  She knew the victim and now worries about the well-being of her children.

“They’re fixing to grow up in a world without their mammaand then they’re daddy on top of that too,” said Raymond.

Police were searching for those children and Cooper.  Anyone with information is asked to contact the East St. Louis Police Department or Crimestoppers at 1-866-371-TIPS. 

Tipsters can remain anonymous.

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