JEFFERSON COUNTY, MO - Bill Eberhardt lost his longtime spouse and his home on one tragic day. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office says an enraged neighbor set the house on fire and then shot and killed Kelly Eberhardt as she tried to run away on Saturday. The suspect then shot and killed himself. The Eberhardts lived on Krshul Road in Cedar Hill.
A cousin of Bill is hoping a GoFundme page will help Eberhardt recover.
Bill and Kelly Eberhardt started dating when they were 15. They loved to fish together and just wanted to live in peace.
“This is someone he was with most of his life and now she’s gone. This was his best friend,” said Kim Butzin. She lost her spouse several months ago and said her cousin was there to help her. She’s hoping others will now join her in helping him.
“A lot of people are coming forward and helping them and I’m hoping more will come forward and help in any way that they can,” she said.
Jefferson County investigators characterized the tragedy as centering around a property dispute. Bill Eberhardt told Fox 2/News 11 that he never had words with his neighbor even though he says that neighbor drove over his yard 4 times leaving ruts in his yard.
“This piece of dirt here is mine,” said Eberhardt through a Facebook video. “That man tore it up 4 different times. I fixed it. I didn’t retaliate. All I did was fix this piece of dirt.”
Butzin said, “The only thing we can do now is try to help and support them get through this tragedy.”
A statement from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office reads:
“Our hearts go out to the loved ones of the victim in this senseless crime.
While the victim and her husband were in an on-going dispute with the suspect, it was a civil matter and not criminal.
A records search going back four years showed no reports of problems between the parties until May 28th of this year. A Deputy responded to that case and took a report, even though he was not obligated to do so and was not asked to do so by the victim. The same action was taken on June 19th when deputies responded twice that day to similar, civil complaints and referred the victim to the civil court system.
The suspect was not known to our department prior to these incidents.”