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‘Stop and hold’ issued in weekend assault

Update: Park Hills Chief of Police Richard McFarland confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the stolen Pontiac G6 that Downs had believed to be driving was found abandoned in Washington County. 

McFarland also said they are following several leads on the location of Downs, however, he has not yet been located. 

Park Hills Police Department has issued a “stop and hold” for a person of interest in connection with the weekend assault of a woman at her Park Hills residence.

On Saturday afternoon, Park Hills Sgt. Summer Bess confirmed that a 45-year-old female had been found beaten outside her home in Park Hills early Saturday. The victim was taken at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis. 

“Her condition is hard to determine as of yet because she has not been responsive to medical staff or police,” Bess said Saturday. A source told the Daily Journal that the woman’s condition had not yet improved as of Monday afternoon.

Just before 4 p.m. Monday, Central Dispatch broadcast that police were looking for Brandon Downs, 36, of Potosi. Downs is believed to be driving a white Pontiac G6. He is possibly armed and could be in the area of Strange Road in Washington County.

The dispatch indicated that the woman been beaten and sexually assaulted. It is believed she knew the person who assaulted her. 

At this time, no charges have been filed in connection with the assault, according to shows Downs has a history of domestic assault.

Downs was charged and pleaded guilty to a charge of felony C domestic assault in St. Francois County and received probation with a seven-year suspended sentence in 2015. Downs violated probation and served a 120-day shock incarceration in the Missouri Department of Corrections in 2017.

Downs also pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance except 35 grams or less or marijuana in Washington County in 2012 for which he also received probation.

In addition, Downs also entered an Alford plea to a misdemeanor domestic assault charge in Washington County in February of 2018 for which he received two years of probation.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Downs is urged to contact St Francois County Central Dispatch at 573-431-3131 or Washington County Dispatch at 573-438-1079.

This is an ongoing investigation and more information will be provided as information is made available.



Matt McFarland is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616, or at

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