Suspects in multi-state crime spree captured in St. Louis, possible connection to Bethalto deaths

Data pix.

HAZELWOOD, Mo. — According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the manhunt for two fugitives accused in a violent crime spree in Alabama and Tennessee has ended.

Investigators said 41-year-old Brady Witcher and 28-year-old Brittany McMillan were captured by local law enforcement agents late Thursday in St. Louis, Missouri.  They were caught at the Days Inn in Hazelwood Thursday night.

Witcher and McMillan were added to TBI’s Most Wanted list, Thursday. Hazelwood police were called at 7:00pm Thursday night from authorities in Tennessee with a tip that the couple was at an area hotel.  Local police were able to confirm the tip.   The FBI and St. Louis County Police helped to take Witcher and McMillan into custody at around 10:20pm.

There may be a connection to three recent deaths in Bethalto, Illinois because the car the two were using was from Bethalto.   The last name of one of the victims also matches one of the suspects. The Major Case Squad was activated after three people were found dead in a Bethalto home late Thursday night.

The Bethalto Police Department received a request from the Hazelwood Police Department at 11:00 p.m. for a welfare check at a home in the 300 block of Mill Street and found the three bodies.

"It is very unnerving. We're very quiet. Most of us know each other. We've never had anything like that on our street," said Karla Lindsey, who has lived on Mill Street for 57 years.

The victims were identified as Shari Yates, 59, her son Andrew Brooks, 30, and John McMillan, 32. Yates and Brooks lived at the address on Mill and McMillan used lived in Bethalto. The incident remains an active scene and the deaths are still under investigation.

"He was the most genuine, kind person," Bethalto resident Noel Russo said about Andrew Brooks, also known as "AJ."

"Dumbfounded that this could happen to such good people. And in Bethalto, let alone, because this is just such a...it doesn't happen here," Russo said.

Authorities said the car that the two used to get to the Hazelwood Days Inn is listed out of Bethalto.

Some 20 detectives from the Major Case Squad of St. Louis are now on this case.

Clarksville police said the pair is also responsible for threatening an employee with a gun during a burglary at the Sango Walmart, last weekend.

Most recently, the pair is accused in a home invasion and stabbing at the Waterford Landing Apartments on Westfield Court in Clarksville, police said.

Investigators said Witcher and McMillan tied up a married couple for several hours Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

“Sometime [Thursday] morning, an altercation takes place,” said Jim Knoll, spokesperson for the Clarksville Police Department. “I know that one of the victims was able to wrestle away a gun from the female involved and then there was a male that had been shot but was most likely stabbed multiple times.”

That man is in stable condition. The woman was injured but is expected to be okay.

Investigators said the victims were somehow able to break free to contact the police.

Authorities in Alabama said Witcher and McMillan are charged in the Dec. 13 shooting death of 31-year-old Kellie Ann Hughes, who was found slain early Saturday in a wooded area near Birmingham.

They are also charged with kidnapping in the abduction of another woman who survived.

Clarksville Police said the pair will likely face extradition to Alabama before answering to the charges in Tennessee.

Anyone with information into these crimes is asked to call the Major Case Squad at 618-377-5266.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.