More details are being released from a pursuit Monday evening that involved several agencies and left a deputy injured.
Matthew Bailey, 30, of Bonne Terre, and Karissa Mowery, 29, of Park Hills, are both being charged with a class A felony of robbery in the first degree, a class B felony of kidnapping in the first degree, a class D felony of tampering with a motor vehicle in the first degree, and felony armed criminal action.
Desloge Police Chief James Bullock said it all began sometime Sunday morning when one of his officers was called to a home in the city of Desloge in reference to a subject who reportedly had held his mother against her will overnight, and then also the caregiver when she arrived Monday morning.
“Overnight Bailey assaulted and held his mother against her will. He assaulted his mother to the point of choking her out, to where she passed out,” Bullock said. “During the assault she also was made to bleed from her ear. When the caregiver arrived and she was held against her will, she faked an illness while they were being held.”
The chief said the cargiver faked having asthma and said she couldn’t breathe, so Bailey allowed the door to be opened. After a short time she was able to escape when he was distracted, and once free she was able to convince Bailey to set his mother free if he didn’t want the police called.
“So he finally allowed them to leave and they left the area to a place in Farmington,” Bullock said. “We went to that location and both Bailey and Mowery were already gone. He also made a threat to an institution in Farmington about a bomb and that he was going to bomb the place.”
The Farmington Police Department verified they were called about the bomb threat.
According to police records, Monday evening at 5:10 p.m. a Desloge officer took a report from the owner of Liberty Taxi Service who told the officer that his driver, a 53-year-old Park Hills man, was dispatched that morning to Quality Health Care in Desloge to pick someone up and take them to Bonne Terre.
The taxi owner told the officer he had not heard from his driver and he had tried calling him several times. The owner reported the driver was in a 2004 Toyota Sienna, which was used for the taxi service and was marked with the business name.
The officer took the report and submitted the information to St. Francois County Central Dispatch to have the man entered into the Missouri Unified Law Enforcement System database.
At 6:34 p.m. the Desloge officer reported hearing a vehicle pursuit start in the city limits of Bonne Terre that was initiated by a St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department deputy. The officer immediately believed the reported vehicle to be the missing taxi.
The Desloge officer responded to the area of State Street and the pursuit was heading toward him so he prepared spike strips. He deployed the spike strips across the roadway just as Bailey passed his location and punctured the driver’s side tire of the taxi.
The officer collected the spike strips and placed them back in his patrol car. At that point he reported hearing the pursuit enter the Desloge city limits, where Bailey drove through a gated entrance into the landfill area which is an unlit area with rough roads.
The officer reported that while he drove through the landfill he could hear Bailey ram two closed gates. Bailey continued, eventually wrecking the taxi. Bailey then fled on foot into a wooded area.
St. Francois County Sheriff’s Deputy Cory Platten, the lead officer in the pursuit, wrecked his patrol car into the rear of the taxi when it came to an abrupt stop against a large rock. The deputy was eventually taken to Parkland Health Center with minor to moderate injuries.
When the officer arrived to the scene of the crash he found the missing taxi driver in the back of the taxi. The officer explained to the man that they knew he was missing and helped him up the steep rocky embankment. The taxi driver was complaining of chest pains. The officer knew this was significant because when he took the missing person report he was informed the man was a heart patient with a preexisting condition.
The officer opted to take the man to the nearest hospital. While driving to the hospital, the taxi driver told the officer another man who was also in the taxi at the time of the crash was not involved with the incident.
The taxi driver told the officer that Mowery held a knife to his throat and that she was the one who tied him up and gagged him. Mowery and the other man were both still in the taxi after the crash and were taken into custody at the scene. Bailey was unaccounted for approximately an hour before deputies were able to eventually find him hiding in the water under some brush.
Once the officer made it back to the police department, he was able to talk to the other man found in the taxi, who said he was picked up in Crystal City because he needed a ride and assumed the driver was in fact a taxi driver for Liberty Taxi.
The man explained that after climbed into the taxi he realized that the older man in the back had been kidnapped when he saw he was bound and gagged. The man said Bailey then drover around with no perceived destination and eventually the police tried to pull the taxi over.
Bailey refused to stop, and the man stated he was begging for him to stop. The man said at some point during the chase he was able to untie the taxi driver. He described the demeanor of Bailey and said it changed. He said Bailey identified himself as “Diablo."
The man also said that just prior to the police getting involved, Bailey told the two victims he was going to a location to get a firearm to “tie up loose ends.” The man told the officer he didn’t think he and the others would make it through alive.
The officer was able to talk to the taxi driver, who said he met with Bailey and Mowery at Quality Health Center where he told the couple he would need $15 before services would begin. The driver said the two forced their way into the taxi and said they would pay him later.
The driver said he drove to the area of Cedar Falls Road and that was when Mowery tied him up at knife point. He explained that at some point during their drive north he was forced to take a pill which was a sedative and antidepressant. He said he was threatened by Bailey that if he didn’t take the pill he would be killed.
The driver said he took the pill by force and that Mowery took the money he had on him, along with the company money bag that had both his and the company’s money in it. His phone was also taken from him and turned off. He said Bailey asked about the GPS unit on the vehicle.
The driver said he was also forced to withdraw money out of an ATM. The driver added that after the other man was picked up they went to St. Louis.
The officer was given a black container that was found in the taxi and Mowery said it belonged to both her and Bailey. She described the contents of it which was drug paraphernalia, heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana.
Under her Miranda Rights, Mowery confessed to her role with the man and the taxi driver. She said she took money out of the money bag and that she punched the driver, tied him up and gagged him with a sock. The officer noted that Mowery said she did all these things at the direction of Bailey, under the threat of being killed if she didn’t comply.
Mowery also admitted to forcing the driver to take the pill. She said she pleaded with Bailey to take the driver to the hospital. The officer asked who called for the taxi and Mowery said she had called using an employee’s cell phone at the Quality Health Care.
Mowery also said Bailey used the money that was stolen to purchase heroin in St. Louis and she also confirmed that Bailey was going to get a gun to tie up loose ends. When asked what that meant, Mowery said she thought Bailey was going to kill them all.
Both Mowery and Bailey are being held in the St. Francois County Jail on a $200,000 bond each.