Man charged with masterminding violent break-in that ended with murder, kidnapping

ST. LOUIS – Court documents outline a violent scene that took place at a home in the 7000 block of Minnesota on November 23, 2017.

Khamkhay Samatmanivong, 51, was charged with second-degree murder, kidnapping, burglary, robbery, and armed criminal action. Prosecutors said Samatmanivong was involved in the murder of 37-year-old Charles Keltz and the kidnapping of Keltz's girlfriend.

According to court documents, Samatmanivong was angry with Keltz's girlfriend because she had taken money from him "under false pretenses.” Police detectives reviewed a neighbor's surveillance cameras that caught Samatmanivong and two unidentified men waiting in front of the girlfriend’s house and when Keltz walked out, they beat and kicked him. When he ran, one of the unidentified men followed him toward Quincy Street where police said Keltz was found shot to death.

The other unidentified man smashed through the front door looking for Keltz's girlfriend, whom he found hiding in the closet.

The girlfriend told detectives the man stole her purse, dragged her outside by her hair, and forced her into a car at gunpoint. Detectives said when she was in the car with the three men, she asked Samatmanivong what was going to happen to her, to which he replied that the men were going to kill her. As they drove past Red's Eighth Inning Bar, about a half mile away, she was able to open the car door, jump out, and run into the bar for help.

Prosecutors said Samatmanivong admitted to detectives that he had gone to the house with the intention of getting money from the girlfriend and that he called the two other men to help him get it back. And he later told police that he did not mean for anyone to be killed.

Meanwhile, investigators said they're still searching for the two accomplices. Anyone with information on their whereabouts or identity is asked to contact CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.