ST. CHARLES, MO (KPLR) – Brent Charleton said Pam Hupp didn’t seem to want to take “no” for an answer as she tried getting him to be part of a Dateline NBC re-enactment.
“I was the second person that day,” Charleton said.
It was August 10, 2016.
Charleton said he didn’t know Pam Hupp, but he noticed her unusual behavior.
“It vaguely kind of looked like someone was lost but not,” he said. “I mean, you’re driving a speed where you’re not really lost or looking at street signs and stuff like that. It wasn’t like you’re confused on where you’re at.”
Charleton spoke exclusively with Fox 2 News and our partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He said he mowing lawns as he said she circled, then stopped right where he was headed with his mower.
“She asked if I had time to do an interview for Dateline,” he said, “I told her I couldn’t. I didn’t even turn the mower off. I didn’t have time and then (she) just tried to keep the conversation going.”
Hupp was quite determined to continue talking.
“Very persistent,” Charleton said. “Just the way she just kept trying to make the conversation go like it was. I mean, if you don’t wanna talk to somebody, you don't talk to somebody.”
Prosecutors said Hupp was caught on surveillance video nearby, reportedly pressuring another person with her fake Dateline story.
St. Charles County's Prosecutor Tim Lohmar said Hupp convinced the second person to get in her car.
“She was told she would be given a script and she was promised $1,000 in cash, both upfront and after the completion of the soundbyte,” Lohmar said.
That person became suspicious and got out of Hupp's car.
A St. Charles County police event report, obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, shows authorities got Hupp's license plate and traced it. The report says "12:02 pm" - "enroute to 12XX Little Brave – investigation." That's Hupp's house.
There's no record of contact and the report ends with entries 14 minutes later: "clear unit" and "event closed."
Six days later, prosecutors said Hupp lured Louis Gumpenberger from the front porch of his St. Charles apartment and drove him to her house where she admitted to shooting him claiming Gumpenberger was trying to kidnap her.
“That guy could've been me,” Charleton said.
Tonight on Fox 2 News at 10, reporter Chris Hayes investigates if Pam Hupp's mother could have died in the manner police said she did.