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BALLWIN, Mo. (AP) - A St. Louis County woman facing criminal charges for injuring her sons by lighting fireworks inside an SUV has been found dead.
 
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 44-year-old Kara Koriath was found Tuesday morning with a single, fatal, gunshot wound. Investigators found after-death instructions inside Koriath's home, along with a will, suicide letters and a recently-purchased life insurance policy.
 
Police say Koriath intentionally lit strategically-placed fireworks while driving along Interstate 270 in November, causing the SUV to catch fire and crash. Her sons, ages 13 and 16, suffered burns and smoke inhalation.
 
Authorities suspect her motive was to seek revenge on her married lover, who was expected to be driving along the same route. She was free on $200,000 bond.
Published in Local News
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - University of Missouri athletics director Mike Alden says the school's initial response to news reports of a former swimmer's suicide could have been handled better.
 
Alden told reporters in interviews late Thursday that he expects Missouri to learn from Sasha Menu Courey's death and use it to bolster its student mental health services rather than "trying to defend" its actions.
 
The interviews mark Alden's first public comments on the case. Missouri curators voted Wednesday to approve an independent legal investigation.
 
Menu Courey killed herself in June 2011 in a Boston psychiatric hospital soon after being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and two months after an earlier suicide attempt while still at Missouri. Her reports of a 2010 rape by several school football players are now under investigation by Columbia police.
Published in Local News
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe says the four-campus system is committed to bolstering its mental health services as a separate legal review of a former school swimmer's suicide is expected to soon begin.
 
Wolfe spoke personally Wednesday about Sasha Menu Courey's 2011 death, noting that his own daughter is a first-year college athlete.
 
He told reporters that "one of our students is dead. And I don't want to feel that anymore."
 
The university's Board of Curators is expected to vote later Wednesday on Wolfe's request for an independent report on how the school handled Menu Courey's death and her claims of a sexual assault by several football players when she was a freshman.
Published in Local News

   A high ranking St. Louis County Health Department administrator is dead and police are trying to determine if he killed himself to cover up a crime.  

   And there seems to be some disagreement between Health Department officials and police as to how serious some invoicing irregularities involving Edward Mueth might be.  

   Mueth killed himself Thursday, one day before he was to meet with officials about money the department paid to a technology firm that he reportedly owns.  

   Police Chief Tim Fitch says it appears Mueth may have been embezzling funds.  Chief Fitch told Fox 2 News that Mueth is suspected of "setting up what could be a company, or maybe a couple of different companies under other names," and using bogus contracts to divert Health Department funds to his personal accounts.  

   Fitch says the scam could involve millions of dollars.  But health department spokesperson Pat Washington says it's too soon to say if any money is missing at all.   

   The 39 years old administrator had been with the health department for nine year and made $86,000 annually.  He had declared bankruptcy in 2004.  Yet Mueth had lived in a Webster Groves home he purchased for $1.4 million in 2010.  Mueth had told friends he used funds from an IT firm he used to own in order to buy the home.

 

Published in Local News

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio prison officials have placed two guards on leave during investigations into the suicide of Cleveland kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro.

Prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith says the two guards were on duty in the prison unit where Castro hanged himself.

Smith said Tuesday the two are on paid administrative leave until internal investigations by the department and a criminal investigation by the state highway patrol are completed.

Smith says guards Caleb Ackley and Ryan Murphy both joined the agency in 2007 and neither has ever been disciplined.

Tim Shafer, a union official, says the two are being made scapegoats for Castro's suicide.

The 53-year-old Castro hanged himself with a bedsheet earlier this month, a few weeks into a life sentence for imprisoning three women in his home for a decade.

Published in National News

ASHLAND, Mo. (AP) - Police in central Missouri say a teenager shot and killed himself as he was being taken into custody for allegedly sending a text threatening school violence.

The shooting happened around 2 a.m. Tuesday near Ashland. The name of the 17-year-old student has not been released.

Boone County Maj. Tom Reddin says the teen sent a text to another student Monday night saying something dramatic was going to happen at school Tuesday, something that would include loss of life.

The family of the teen who received the text contacted police. Reddin says that as officers went to take in the teen who sent the message, he asked to get dressed.

Reddin says that's when the teen went into the home, retrieved a handgun and shot himself in the chest.

 

Published in Local News

   COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio corrections officials say Ariel Castro who held three women captive in his home for nearly a decade has committed suicide at a state prison facility.

   Spokeswoman JoEllen Smith says 53 year old Castro was found hanging in his cell around 9:20 p.m. Tuesday at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient. Prison medical staff performed CPR before Castro was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

   The three women disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old. They escaped May 6, when one of the women broke part of a door and yelled to neighbors for help. Castro was arrested that evening.

   Castro was sentenced Aug. 1 to life in prison plus 1,000 years on his guilty plea to 937 counts including kidnapping and rape.

 
Published in National News

   Police believe a man shot to death in the St. Clair County Courthouse Monday afternoon took his own life.  

   St. Clair County Sheriff Richard Watson says it happened on the fourth floor of the parking garage about 4:30 p.m.  

   Police haven't released the man's name pending notification of family, but say he was 25-30 years old and had addresses in both Belleville and Caseyville, Illinois.  

   Watson says the man had not gone to the courthouse but to the probation office on the other side of the garage.

   Sheriff's deputies and Belleville police had initially closed down the garage thinking there might be a gunman still lurking.  It reopened about an hour later.

Published in Local News

   The St. Louis County coroner is trying to determine if police shot an Affton man to death, or if he shot himself.  

   St. Louis County Police were called to a home in the 9800 block of Arv-Ellen about 7:30 Saturday night because of a man reportedly waving a gun around in his front yard and yelling for someone to call police.  

   Officers arrived to find 36 year old Shawn Spiros sitting on the front porch.  

   Police say they tried to talk with Spiros, but he pulled a gun from his waistband, raised it toward officers and then at his own head.  Police spokesman Randy Vaughn says it appears that Spiros and an officer fired at the same time. It's yet not clear which shot killed Spiros.  The coroner is expected to release a report on Monday.

 
Published in Local News

The Belleville News Democrat reports former Caseyville, IL  Police Chief JD Roth, who took his own life, was being investigated by the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Department investigation into the police department that he headed for 11 years.

The paper reports police records show Roth sent a despondent text message to his girlfriend before he went into his backyard and shot himself in the head. A large sum of money" and multiple guns were discovered inside a safe at Roth's home.

His pre-paid funeral arrangements and will were on a plastic-covered table nearby.

Roth operated a home-based business called Special Order Firearms.

 

Published in Local News
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