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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Caseyville police chief facing misconduct charges, is dead from an apparent self-inflicted gun shot wound.
J.D. Roth was found on the back patio of his Fairview Heights home Thursday. Roth was under investigation for allegedly letting his girlfriend off for a felony drunk driving charge. Investigators also alleged that he used a pickup that was seized during a drug bust for personal reasons.
The Caseyville Mayor George Chance fired Roth in March. Roth had been chief for 10 years.
The parents of a young man who committed suicide four years ago want to hold the St. Louis Archdiocese accountable, so they're suing.
KTRS' Vicki Pimentel report the lawsuit claims an alleged sexual assault of the then 13 year old boy at a seminary camp led to a deep depression and ultimately his suicide at age 21.
The suit names the Archdiocese, Archbishop Robert Carlson and defrocked priest Bryan Kuchar as defendants. David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says the Archdiocese has protected priests like Kuchar for too long. "We think it's irresponsible of church officials to recruit, educate, ordain, hire, train, transfer, shield and protect predator priests and then suddenly cut them loose when the legal and public relations heat becomes too hot."
Kuchar has been at the center of investigations before. He was convicted in 2003 of second degree sodomy of a 14 year old boy.
CHICAGO (AP) - A government study finds the suicide rate among middle-aged Illinois residents is increasing, but not by as much as the national rate for the same age group.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the report Thursday. The agency provided state numbers to The Associated Press.
Between 1999 and 2010, the suicide rate in Illinois among those ages 35 to 64 climbed nearly 19 percent. The rate rose from 11 suicides per 100,000 people to 13 suicides per 100,000.
The national suicide rate for the same age group rose by 28 percent.
Health officials say new strategies for suicide prevention should address issues middle-aged Americans are likely to face. Those issues include financial challenges, caregiver responsibilities for children and aging parents, and health problems.