Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Two Women Are Killed in Apartment Shooting; 1-Year-Old Daughter of One Victim Was Found near Her Body, Unharmed

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Two Women Are Killed in Apartment Shooting; 1-Year-Old Daughter of One Victim Was Found near Her Body, Unharmed

Article excerpt

FERGUSON - A man worried that he couldn't reach his twin sister by phone went to her townhouse in Ferguson early Friday and kicked in the back door to find a bloody crime scene, authorities say.

The man found his sister and one of her friends dead, authorities say. The friend's 1-year-old daughter - left unharmed by the killer - was crying and near her dead mother, with dried blood on her feet.

Relatives identified the victims as Claudia Williams, 30, who lived at the townhouse in the 1600 block of Norlakes Drive, and her longtime friend, Tasheera Johnson, 29, who lived in unincorporated north St. Louis County.

Both women had been shot to death, said Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson. They were killed sometime in the previous 24 hours, the chief said.

Jackson said police think the killer took off in a car belonging to the mother of one of the victims. The car, described as a white 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix with Missouri license plate WD4 F1U, was discovered by authorities in Madison County on Friday afternoon, Jackson said.

There was no sign of forced entry at the apartment, and the motive didn't appear to be robbery; Jackson said it's likely the victims knew the killer. Relatives suspect a boyfriend of one of the victims, whom they described as violent and jealous.

"I don't think it's random," Jackson said.

The two women were found in an upstairs bedroom at the Oakmont Townhomes in the 1600 block of Norlakes Drive at about 6 a.m. today, Jackson said. The area is just east of West Florissant Avenue.

Williams' "twin brother was worried and came over this morning and kicked in the back door," said Deana Townsend, 37, Williams' sister.

There is one neighbor in an adjacent townhouse, but Jackson said police had not found any witnesses.

Police have been called to the sprawling apartment complex for a variety of calls in the past, but Jackson declined to speculate on a motive for the slayings. …

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