Police: Jilted mother tried to kill kids with fireworks in car

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BALLWIN, MO (KTVI)--The woman accused of trying to kill herself and her sons in response to being jilted by a lover is now in the St. Louis County Jail, but there aren’t many more answers in this chilling case that’s become the talk of the community.

Koriath is charged with felony assault on her own children in what amounts to an attempt at murder-suicide.

Her former home on Barrett Station Road sits vacant now.  Neighbors describe the 44 year old mother of two as “industrious.”  They clearly find it hard to believe what allegedly happened that morning in November.

Court documents say Koriath woke her sons, ages 13 and 16, telling them their grandmother had had a heart attack.  She then allegedly put them in a car loaded with fireworks and accelerants and began driving down Interstate 270.  At one point the documents say, she lit a firecracker, and set the car ablaze.  Moments later they crashed. Prosecutors believe she was trying to kill them all.  She and her sons were instead hospitalized with serious injuries and traffic backed up for miles.

According to prosecutors, one man who was supposed to be in that traffic jam was the married man with whom she was having an affair.  In a text chastising him for not leaving his wife, she allegedly told the man "it will haunt you every day of your life."  The fiery scene was to be for him according to investigators.

Koriath had been working for Wells Fargo Financial Advisors, but they say she's been gone from that job for some time now.

A talent website lists her as an aspiring actress and model.  She boasts of public speaking experience, ability to quickly memorize things, vast knowledge of financial matters and even medical expertise.  She says one son has vision problems.  She also claims to have been a substitute teacher in the Rockwood School District, something the district could not confirm after checking records dating back to 1995

Koriath is divorced from the father of her boys.  We contacted him at his place of business, where a co-worker declined comment on his behalf.  No word on where the sons are tonight, other than a mention in court papers that they are still being treated for burns.

Koriath is being held on $200,000 bond.  She declined Fox 2’s request for an interview Wednesday.

See Kara Koriath’s “Explore Talent” page here:  http://www.exploretalent.com/karakoriath



A Ballwin woman is accused of assault in an apparent murder suicide attempt that involved wiring her car with fireworks, dousing it with gasoline, then setting off fireworks inside.  She allegedly did this while driving down Interstate 270 with her two sons in the car.

The crash happened on 270 in Des Peres back in November.  Kara Koriath, 44, and her sons were all seriously injured in the early morning wreck that backed traffic up for miles.  But court documents say this was no accident.

The probable cause statement says Koriath had been in a relationship with a married man which was going sour.  The night before, she had texted him an ultimatum, demanding he leave his wife for her.  Later, a series of what are described as “good bye” texts, including one that said, “it will haunt you every day of your life.”

The statement says Koriath woke up her sons, 13 and 16, and told them their grandmother had had a heart attack.  She told them they were going to the hospital to see her.  This, according to investigators, was a lie.

The routing along 270, where Koriath allegedly instigated the fiery crash, was the same route the married boyfriend drove daily, taking his own children to school.  Prosecutors allege the entire thing was put on for him to see.

Koriath is charged with two counts of first degree assault in the case, both felonies, but prosecutor Bob McCullough says it had all the makings of an attempted murder.

“You wire the car up in that fashion and get the kids up in the middle of the night and put them in the car and take off, and then the explosions start in the car.  It was pretty clear what was going on pretty immediately that that was an attempt to do some serious injury, serious harm, if not fatal to the two boys,” he said.

The boys are in the care of another relative.

The last known address for Koriath is now vacant, and the employer she listed on her LinkedIn page, Wells Fargo Advisors, says she no longer works there.

Once she’s in custody she will be held on $200,000 bond.

Koriath Probable cause statement

Fireworks set off inside SUV causes major traffic jam in St. Louis


  • P

    Being a Single mama has nothing to do with her being flat out crazy…. and how in the F did she get away? why isn’t she in custody? I feel sorry for the kids.

    • Mr Popularity

      Wow, the reading comprehension around here is at the kindergarten level. She was being treated for serious injuries in the hospital. Then, when they charged her, she was booked into jail. That is what happens when you are arrested. They don’t just write you a ticket like for speeding and hope you show up at a court date when you attempted to murder your children. Wow, the idiocy

  • laineykins

    If you want to kill yourself that’s fine but leave others out of it. It’s so selfish anyway but even more whem you take others with you

  • STL

    Well where the heck did she disappear to if they were taken to the hospital, I assume? I guess all the facts didn’t come out until after they walked out of the hospital. What a nut job. Kill your kids over a man that doesn’t want you. Where’s the logic in that?

  • Jenni Lovsey

    I dont believe anything this useless police dept. says. They always want to make everything no matter what a crime. What Fox2, slow news day?

    • Mr Popularity

      You don’t think trying to murder your children is a crime Jenni? Seriously? Another mother of the year candidate folks.

  • Maria Harms

    Not to be Captain Obvious, but I would guess that since she was seriously injured in the accident, she is probably still in the hospital and will be “in custody” upon her release from the hospital.

  • Think about it.

    It’s an attempted murder case…of course the wife of the married guy knows by now…he’s probably been interviewed at his home by police and detectives at least twenty times by now. He’ll have to testify in court as well…Geniuses!

    • Mr Popularity

      Exactly. The lack of reading comprehension and lack of deductive reasoning is frightening in these comments. Obviously the police would have had to talk to the boyfriend to get all these details of the relationship. When the police come knocking on the door, you can bet that the wife will ask why they want to question her husband.

  • Steven Sweeney

    Ain’t it great that the single mama, who didn’t have time for a job, had time a money to buy fireworks, endanger kids and other drivers, and sleep with a married man? Look out lifetime! Here comes a new chick flick!

  • Mr Popularity

    Are the prosecutors chicken to charge her with attempted murder instead of assault? I would say strapping mortar shells to your childrens’ headrests and dousing your vehicle with gasoline is an attempt to kill. If a man had done these things, you can bet the charge would at least be attempted murder.

    • Mr Popularity

      “prosecutor Bob McCullough says it had all the makings of an attempted murder”

      Then why did you only charge her with assault Mr McCullough? You said yourself it is attempted murder. Very odd.

      • JB

        The State of Missouri does not have an attempted murder statute. Assault 1st degree is when you harm someone in a way that could potentially cause their death…basically attempted murder just phrased a different way.

      • Mr Popularity

        I find it hard to believe there is not some form of attempted murder statute which most other states have. For instance, what do you charge someone who hires a person to kill someone, plans and fully intends to have someone killed, and the plot is foiled before it is executed? You can’t charge them with assault because no injury or physical harm occurred. Yet people are clearly charged with attempted murder plots all the time. For instance that wacky Hooker in Fla was charged and convicted for attempted murder of her husband (Dalia?). If there is no such statute in Mo I guess you can plan to murder someone and get away with it

      • Mr Popularity

        Getting hung up on semantics. The point is, there is some law which prohibits the planning and/or attempt to murder a person. Whether or not its called attempted murder misses the point.

      • JB

        “Then why did you only charge her with assault Mr McCullough? You said yourself it is attempted murder. Very odd.”

        You are the one that wanted to know why she wasn’t charged with attempted murder. I was just trying to explain it to you. Have a great day.

      • Rebecca

        “Getting hung up on semantics. The point is, there is some law which prohibits the planning and/or attempt to murder a person. Whether or not its called attempted murder misses the point.”

        In the State of Missouri, first degree assault is defined as:

        “A person commits the crime of assault in the first degree if he attempts to kill or knowingly causes or attempts to cause serious physical injury to another person.”


      • Mr Popularity

        I know what assault is Becky. That statute doesn’t cover situations where someone plans or attempts to kill someone before an assault actually occurs, so you missed the point

      • JB

        Let me break it down like I’m talking to a kindergartner for you Mr. personality. The State of Missouri does not have a charge called “attempted murder” like other states do. They have charges that mean the same thing but are worded differently. “Assault 1st” is basically attempted murder. Planning to kill someone is “Conspiracy to commit murder”. (And even thy isn’t actually a charge it’s one of four identifiers that are attached to the end of a charge code…but that’s getting a little too complicated for you) does this clarify? Maybe now you can run off and impress your friends with your vast knowledge of the law.

      • Mr Popularity

        That’s Mr Popularity B.J.And once again, you fail. I was pointing out the insufficiency of the statutes if they don’t cover all attempted murder situations. Conspiracy would apply only if more than one person was involved. In a situation where 1 person attempts a murder, the assault statute would not apply if the attempt was thwarted before the assault. But since you’re such a smart guy B.J., why not tell us what firm you work for so we can patronize you in case of an attempted murder charge?

  • Sophie Cat

    No man is worth all this trouble, men are like buses if you don’t catch the first one that comes along, just wait for the next one, they’re all alike and they’ll all get you to your destination one way or another so it makes no difference which one you take.

    • Mr Popularity

      That’s deep Sophie Cat. So to you, dating Bradley Cooper or Robin Thicke would be no better than dating Dr Phil or Artie Lange. Got it.

  • Wonder Why

    Mr. Popularity seems to be a self-professed expert on everything and if he doesn’t agree with a fact or an opinion it’s just semantics. In reality, he is just a troll whose life ambition is to aggravate and antagonize. I would hope the comment monitor would delete his comments.

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