Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sources Recount Confession in Wu Case

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sources Recount Confession in Wu Case

Article excerpt

In a confession to police, Bryan Cook said two Washington University students were abducted the night of May 5 after he and his cousin drank wine and decided on the spur of the moment to commit a carjacking because they were tired of walking, authorities said Thursday.

Cook, 16, lays the entire crime on his cousin, Andre E. Bonds, 19, police sources said. Cook said Bonds fatally shot Melissa Gail Aptman, 22, when she shouted for help and also raped and shot her 20-year-old friend, who was left for dead but survived.

Cook said in the confession that after the crime, he and Bonds divided $80 taken from the victims and hid the murder weapon in the hollow of a tree in Bonds' back yard in the 7700 block of St. Albans Avenue in Richmond Heights.

Cook, of the 900 block of Switzer Avenue in the Baden neighborhood, was certified as an adult on Wednesday and charged with 10 felonies, including first-degree murder, robbery and kidnapping. On Wednesday night, Cook led homicide detectives through the crime scenes, providing many details already provided by the survivor and some new ones as well, sources said.

Cook has been in the custody of juvenile authorities since May 9.

Bonds has not yet been charged in the crime. Authorities are awaiting forensic test results, including DNA, and have been in no hurry to charge him because he is in jail in an unrelated case.

Sources said Cook gave this account:

On the afternoon of May 5, Cook and Bonds bought some wine at a liquor store and drank it at Bonds' home. The two then wanted to return to north St. Louis but had no money for the bus.

They decided to walk to Kingshighway and get on the bus without paying. But on the way, they became tired, and Bonds decided to take a vehicle at gunpoint. Aptman and her girlfriend had just left Chuy Arzola's Tex-Mex Restaurant, at 6405 Clayton Avenue in the Dogtown neighborhood, and were getting into their 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee parked on Art Hill Place when the teen-agers accosted them about 10 p. …

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