CALVERTON PARK, Mo. - The family of a murder victim is coming together to support her two young children. Police say the children's father is responsible for her death.
Perry Green, 24, is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action. He is accused of shooting Demetria Howard, 23, more than 14 times early Sunday morning.
Surveillance footage shows Green and Howard entered her home. A short time later, Green left alone then returned with an unknown individual.
Investigators say Green admitted to shooting Howard during an argument and removing the shell casings from the scene. He told police he threw the casings and the firearm from a moving vehicle.
The crime was discovered when Howard's family asked for a welfare check at her new home in Calverton Park. Howard's family says she had just moved into the north St. Louis County home days before her murder in an attempt to get away from Green.
Howard's family describes her relationship with Green as toxic. The family says the two had dated on and off since high school and had two children together: a 3-year-old daughter and a 6-month-old son.
Court records say Green had been arrested for domestic violence against Howard in the past.
Howard's brother, Louis Felton, said he visited Howard's new home Saturday night.
"I didn't know that night was going to be the last night," said Felton. "The last thing I told her is, 'I love you.'"
Howard's family says she was a devoted mother to her children.
"She was the most beautiful, outstanding mother," Demetrius Howard said about his daughter. "Took care of her responsibilities, went to work, took care of her kids."
The Major Case Squad worked quickly to identify a suspect in this case. Green is being held in the St. Louis County Detention Center on a $500,000 cash-only bond.
"I'm glad they got him as quick as they did," said Demetrius.
Howard's family will host a vigil and balloon release Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at 42 Grether Avenue in North County. A memorial will be held Friday, March 15 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Serenity Memorial Chapel (1905 Union Boulevard, 63113). A funeral will be held Saturday, March 16.
The family has also set up a GoFundMe for Howard's children.