Mother grieving after daughter found dead in Berkeley house fire

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BERKELEY, MO (KTVI) - A grieving St. Louis County mother is asking for answers about her daughter's death.

Early Wednesday morning, police found two women shot to death inside a burning home. It’s a heartbreaking case: a man, his mom, and his girlfriend living together. The man’s mother and girlfriend are dead. He and their car, a 2015 red Chevy Camaro, are missing.

Police are calling him a person of interest.

There are still more questions than answers, it seems, regarding the deaths of 60-year-old Gerry Smith and 26-year-old Cierra Owens.

“She was a very sweet girl, very sweet, kind-hearted,” said Denise Owens, Cierra’s mother.

Police found the bodies inside a burning home on Eaton near Airport Road. Gerry Smith’s son, Michael, remains missing.

“That was the last person she was with going into the house. He hasn’t even been over here to knock on the door, to ask about her, or the mother or nothing. It just doesn’t seem right to me,” Denise said.

Smith had done prison time for past offenses including drug possession, burglary, and felonious restraint.
Police are not calling him a suspect.

Denise Owens recalled a promise he made to her after he met her daughter.

“I was feeling a little funny. I said, ‘Please promise me you’ll take care of my daughter.’ He said, ‘I will.’ So I texted him yesterday, but his phone just goes to voicemail. I said, ‘You promised me that you would take care of my baby.’”

There’s a small memorial at the house. A balloon reads, “Gone but never forgotten – long live Cierra.”

Her mother hopes someone will realize how big a loss this is and help police find Michael Smith, so there can be more answers than questions and a little peace.

“Please,” she said. “My daughter was only 26-years old.”

Cierra Owens leaves behind a six-year-old son, her mother, and five siblings. All are grief-stricken.

If you have any information on this case or Michael Smith’s whereabouts, call Berkeley Police at 314-524-3311, ext. 3800.