Suspect charged Drury Inn homicide

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) -There is an update in the investigation into the murder of a south St. Louis hotel manager. The man police suspect killed Scott Knopfe has been formally charged with murder. The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office charged Joseph Bowens late Sunday afternoon. Bowens is being held at a jail in southeast Missouri  on a $500,000 cash only bond.

Sheriff's deputies in Poplar Bluff, MO had told NEWS 11 that 43-year-old Joseph Bowens was arrested on outstanding drug possession charges and a failure to appear in court for running a stop sign. He's also wanted on state charges of manufacturing and distributing drugs.

But what he appears to be facing here in St. Louis is much more serious. It was Thursday when police say he was buzzed into the lobby of the Drury Inn on Hampton at I-44. He began speaking to the night manager, 50-year-old Scott Knopfel, then pulled a gun. The pair struggled and Knopfel was eventually shot and killed.

A photo had been circulated of Bowens according to the Post-Dispatch, the police chief in the southeast Missouri town of Caruthersville recognized it as Bowens, who he had arrested in the past.

The paper reports the chief even spoke to Bowens by phone, encouraging him to turn himself in, but he was arrested by Poplar Bluff police before he made it back to Caruthersville.

Bowens is expected to be extradited back to St. Louis. Police should release more information in the coming days.

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