Daughter makes plea for help to find mother’s killer

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EAST ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - A mysterious death in a St. Louis area motel room now appears to be a homicide.

A motel housekeeper found a woman's body in room 7 of the Western Inn on State Street near 69th in East St. Louis early Saturday morning.

Multiple sources have confirmed to Fox 2 that it now appears Reginae Cotton, 51, of East St. Louis, died by suffocation.

Investigators have not named a suspect but confirm they are looking for a man known to have been in the motel room with her, as a person of interest.

Cotton worked at a nursing home in Creve Coeur.  She lived with her daughter, Devanie Moran, and grandchildren in East St. Louis.

Moran said she last spoke to her Cotton as Cotton mother left her job around 10:30 Friday night.

“She actually told me she was coming home because she knew I was in pain,” said Moran, who is expecting a child.  “I kept calling her phone.  It’s not like her to not answer her phone.  I kept calling. I kept calling.  I kept calling.  I had a bad feeling.”

Another relative told her Cotton might have gone to the motel with a male acquaintance.

Moran filed a missing persons report, and then went to the motel.

“I was going to the desk to ask the lady did my mom check in, and the police were already walking towards me because they said I looked just like her … he said, ‘is your mom named Reginae Cotton?’  I said, ‘yes it is.’  He said, ‘I’m so sorry, your mom is dead.’”

A police review of surveillance video showed s only her mother and the male acquaintance coming or going from the room.

Moran pleaded for anyone with information to help her find justice for her mom.

“She was a hard worker.  Anywhere you saw my mom she was on her way to work…my mom was a loving caring mother and grandmother.  She always was about family,” Moran said.

Cotton is survived by 3 children and 10 grandchildren.  Her funeral is Saturday.

In you have any information call East St. Louis Police at (618) 482-6767 or Illinois State Police at (618) 346-3990.