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Friend of Cedar Hill murder-suicide suspect praying for both families

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CEDAR HILL, Mo. - A Cedar Hill dispute left a woman dead and her widower without a home. The suspected killer then took his own life. That’s how the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office described a tragic scene on Saturday. The initial investigation revealed the suspect drove a truck into his neighbor’s house, set it on fire, and then shot and killed Kelly Eberhardt.

Fox 2 reported about the devastating situation now facing Bill Eberhardt as he looks for somewhere to live and plans a funeral he can’t afford.

Friends of the man believed to have taken his own life do not condone what he did but insist Jeffrey Bauer was a good person. One of those friends says his heart breaks for both families.

“I pray for their family and I pray for my friend’s wife and his daughter and his mom and his family and his friends because there are hundreds of people that loved that man,” said family friend Luke Geatley.

Geatley says a dispute started when Bauer wanted to widen the road where he lived in Cedar Hill and the neighbors across the street objected. Friends of Bauer say he was threatened by the victim’s family. The victim’s family says that’s not true and say it was Bauer who antagonized them.

“I hope they will forgive him someday,” Geatley said. “His family was wonderful people and he was too. I want everyone to know that.”

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said the only party that had contacted them in recent years about the dispute was the victim’s family. A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office sent Fox 2 the following statement on Monday regarding the dispute:

“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 19 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.”

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