Police are looking for an individual in connection with a theft that reportedly took place through the drive-thru window of a Park Hills gas station early Saturday morning.
The theft occurred at approximately 4 a.m. Saturday at C-Barn on Parkway Drive, according to the Park Hills Police Department. It was reported that one of the convenience store employees was occupied with the coffee dispensers when a man climbed through the drive-thru window and grabbed $275 out of the cash register.
The theft was captured on the store’s surveillance cameras, however, the employee didn’t realize the money was missing for a few hours. The crime was reported to police between 8 and 9 a.m.
On Monday, the Park Hills Police Department released the surveillance footage which shows the theft, as well as the vehicle in which the suspect was observed fleeing the scene.
Anyone with any information regarding the incident is asked to contact the Park Hills Police Department at 573-431-3122 or St. Francois County Central Dispatch at 573-431-3131.
A disturbance in Lake Timberline Monday morning ended with two men dead from gunshot wounds.
According to a press release from the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department, at 6:04 a.m. officers responded to the report of a domestic disturbance involving a firearm in the 9400 block of Woodleigh Drive in the Lake Timberline lake development outside Bonne Terre. Responding officers were advised of gunshots being fired at the scene prior to their arrival.
The 71-year-old caller advised 911 operators that she believed her grandson, now identified as 24-year-old Nicholas David Brown, had shot her husband, identified as 66-year-old James Lange. The woman reported that she heard two shots fired initially, and shortly after heard a third shot fired.
A second 911 call was received from a male caller who advised that he had been shot twice. During this second call, the man became unresponsive and the 911 line remained open.
Officers arrived at the scene and found Lange deceased in the living room of the home with gunshot wound to the chest. Officers also found Brown deceased on a bedroom floor from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
This incident continues to be investigated by detectives with the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department.
An area man charged in October with sexual trafficking of a child now faces additional charges after being indicted Friday by a St. Francois County grand jury on 57 criminal counts.
James Rodgers, 40, of Farmington, had initially been charged in October with first-degree sexual trafficking of a child under 12 years of age, and second-degree sexual trafficking of a child under 18 years of age. When the original charges were filed, the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) stated in a press release that additional charges were anticipated.
Recently, the case went before the grand jury and Rodgers was indicted on several more charges, including 25 counts of sexual exploitation of a child; 19 counts of possession of child pornography; five counts of first-degree promoting child pornography; four counts of sexual misconduct involving a child under the age of 15; two counts of statutory sodomy or attempted statutory sodomy involving a person less than 12 years of age; and two counts of first-degree sexual trafficking of a child under 12 years of age.
According to the original probable cause statement from the MSHP, on Sept. 30, a trooper was provided with two CyberTips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). These CyberTips contained information provided to the NCMEC by Facebook. The tips indicated that a Facebook employee reviewed Facebook Messenger communications and felt the communications were online enticement of a child. The CyberTip identified a user named “Jimmy Rodgers,” with the Facebook username, “jroggers11” who identified himself as a 40-year-old male. Based on chat logs provided by Facebook, Rodgers solicited images of child pornography from other users.
It further states that on Oct. 9, Rodgers was located at his residence on Carleton Street in Farmington, where he was interviewed and reportedly admitted to officers that he communicated with two females online. He said he believed the females were 13 and 14 years old. Through these electronic communications, he sent the girls images of his genitals and a video of him performing a sexual act on himself. He reportedly asked both girls for nude images and videos and they both sent him explicit images and videos.
Rodgers further stated that the images would still be saved to his Samsung cell phone, which is the device he said he used to communicate with the females. The original CyberTip included a 20-second video from Facebook which showed a juvenile female performing a sexual act. A search warrant was obtained and during a search of Rodgers’ phone, the same 20-second video was located. Dozens of other images and videos were located on his phone which appeared similar in nature. The images and videos were exchanged on Aug. 15.
One of the juvenile victims was positively identified as a 9-year-old white female. The other female victim was not positively identified at the time of the report, but it states the girl appeared to be approximately 10 to 13 years of age.
Rodgers is currently being held at the St. Francois County Jail on a $500,000 cash-only bond. If released on bond, Rodgers is prohibited from accessing the internet or any social media accounts and must be fitted with a GPS monitoring device.
A month after skeletal remains were found in the area of Old Mines, no identification has been made.
On Jan. 5, a citizen walking in the woods found skeletal remains in the 10,000 block of Rockhill Road in Washington County. It appeared the remains had been there for years.
Washington County Sheriff Zach Jacobsen said on Wednesday that he has received many calls about unsolved missing person cases that fit the description of the body. It is believed that the person was male, aged 40-60 years old, 5 foot 9 to 5 foot 10, with brown hair and rib fractures that had healed.
Jacobsen said that one missing person in particular (who had gone missing in 2013) seemed to match the description and was from the Washington County area. However, dental records showed it was not him.
Jacobsen said apparently extraction of DNA from bone material is extensive and expensive. Different labs were contacted to do testing for an identification but they would not do the tests. A lab at the University of North Texas, which has a grant to do testing, is conducting the DNA test. It could be a year or more before the sheriff's department gets the results, he said.
If you have information that could assist investigators, call Washington County Central Dispatch at 573-438-1079.
Authorities are looking for a man charged Wednesday in connection with allegations of sexual assault involving children.
David Horton, 55, of Park Hills, has been charged with two counts of sexual misconduct involving a child under the age of 15, two counts of statutory sodomy or attempted statutory sodomy - deviate sexual intercourse involving a person less than 12 years-of-age, enticement or an attempted enticement of a child, and tampering or attempt to tamper with a victim in a felony prosecution.
According to a probable cause statement from the Park Hills Police Department, an officer was contacted by the Children's Division regarding allegations that Horton had committed sexual assault against three children.
During an interview at the Children's Advocacy Center on Jan. 31, a 10-year-old girl reported that several weeks prior to the interview, Horton made her and two other children undress in his room. The child indicated that Horton then touched all three of the children's private area with his hand and also said that he told her not to tell anyone what had happened.
The young child reportedly indicated that Horton exposed his genitals to her and the other children and ask them to touch his private area; however, she stated that they did not comply with his request. She also stated that Horton had performed a sexual act on her.
The other two children mentioned in the report are scheduled for their own interviews at the Children's Advocacy Center, which had yet to take place at the time of the officer's report.
The report states that, following the interview with the child reporting the alleged crimes, the officer spoke with members of Horton's family who recalled an incident in which they witnessed a young girl straddling Horton on his bed and the two were "humping each other." They further reported incidents in which Horton was observed tickling the girl and the two other children in their private areas.
The officer attempted to speak with Horton but states in the report that the man has been avoiding efforts to contact him. The officer was informed by family members that Horton was hiding out in a cabin and had recently gotten his gun out of a pawn shop. It was confirmed that Horton had gotten a Beretta handgun out of pawn shop on Jan. 27, the same day officers received the report from the Children's Division.
As of Wednesday afternoon, officers were still looking for Horton and Park Hills Det. Craig Newberry created a social media post asking for information leading to the man's whereabouts.
The post states that Horton has been seen driving a red Jeep Compass with Missouri License plates, HF7 H9K.
Anyone who has seen Horton or can provide information regarding the man's location is asked to notify the police immediately at 573-431-3122 or 573-431-3131.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to a report of a shooting Tuesday night.
Sheriff Zach Jacobsen said the victim initially reported being shot by an individual but later admitted he actually shot himself while handling a firearm. He is being treated at a hospital but his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
Jacobsen said the firearm and narcotics have been recovered. The firearm had been defaced.
An individual was arrested. The investigation is ongoing and they will be submitting the case to the prosecutor's office for review.
A man whom authorities were searching for last week has been apprehended in connection with an assault that allegedly occurred in Washington County near Kingston School, as well as charges that stem from a 2018 assault.
Shelby Eugene Courtway Jr., 43, of Cadet, was charged on Friday with three counts of first-degree domestic assault, first-degree kidnapping, two counts of second-degree domestic assault, two counts of armed criminal action, resisting/interfering with an arrest for a felony, among other drug-related charges.
According to a probable cause statement from the Washington County Sheriff's Office, Courtway reportedly beat a woman Thursday, causing serious injuries.
Courtway is alleged to have hit a woman, with his closed fist, on the side of her head, causing significant bleeding. The woman reportedly had an ear infection and the blows to her head caused her eardrum to rupture. It is reported that after allegedly striking the woman, Courtway ordered her to sit on the couch, face the wall, and not move.
Courtway then reportedly dragged the woman by her hair outside and across the yard in temperatures below freezing while she lacked proper clothing. While outside, he allegedly began to hit her multiple times across the body with his closed fist before forcing her back to the residence and, throughout the incident, she lost a significant amount of blood.
After the assault, the report states that Courtway forced the woman to shower and change clothes and over the course of the trauma, the woman reportedly had to shower and change clothes four times due to the amount of blood she was losing from her sustained injuries.
When searching the scene, officers located a trash bag that contained multiple pieces of clothing that were covered in coagulated blood. When separating the clothing from the bags, officers found a chunk of hair that was consistent with the victim's injuries.
According to the statement, officers believe Courtway cleaned up part of the scene before law enforcement arrived.
The victim was later located and taken to Washington County Memorial Hospital to be treated for her injuries. While at the hospital, healthcare workers reported that the woman was missing hair from her scalp, had bruised lips with a half-inch laceration, swollen and bruised hands, a swollen ear, as well as bruises up and down the side of her face.
Three witnesses reported to police that they observed Courtway striking the woman, dragging her outside of the residence and hearing her yell, "Please stop." During the victim's interview, she confirmed the witnesses' statements.
During an interview with Courtway after the incident, he reportedly told officers that he had been staying at a friend's house for a couple of days. It was at this residence that the alleged assault occurred.
The report states Courtway is a registered Missouri sex offender and the residence at which he was staying, where the assault occurred, is within 2,000 feet of Kingston School.
A search for the man on Thursday led to a brief precautionary lock-down of Kingston School.
At the time of the incident, Courtway had an active warrant through Washington County for failing to register as a sex offender and is currently on parole for failing to register as a sex offender.
Charges filed this week also stem from a previous incident of alleged assault by Courtway, which was reported in 2018.
According to the probable cause statement from that incident, Courtway reportedly told police, during an interview on Sept. 29, 2018, that he witnessed his girlfriend having sexual relations with another man in the back of a truck and became enraged, punching her in the face.
She, however, told authorities that along with punching her in the face, Courtway beat her with a belt and a phone cord.
The report states that bruising to the woman’s body was consistent with being hit with some form of cord and so severe that she needed assistance from hospital staff in order to move.
Additionally, the woman stated that after the beatings ceased, Courtway made her write out an apology on paper. The letter was collected as evidence and there were reportedly blood spots on the paper, according to the statement.
When Courtway was shown photographs of the woman’s extensive injuries, he denied hitting her with a cord and stated all he did was punch her in the face.
A further search of Courtway's criminal history shows that he has been convicted in the past of forcible rape, statutory rape, statutory sodomy, resisting arrest for a felony, DWI, domestic assault, and failure to register as a sex offender in two cases.
Courtway is currently being held at the Washington County Jail on a $150,000 cash-only bond. If released, the man is to have no contact with the victim in these cases.