27-year-old charged with killing south St. Louis County man


ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged a 27-year-old Arnold man Thursday in connection with the August murder of a south county man.

According to court documents, St. Louis County police and firefighters were called to an apartment fire near the corner of Lemay Ferry Road and Butler Hill Road on the morning of August 2.

Brandon Gaertner

Once the fire was extinguished, the body of 62-year-old James Kwiatkowski was discovered in a closet. Kwiatkowski was pronounced dead at the scene.

An autopsy revealed Kwiatkowski died as a result of blunt force trauma. Detectives launched a homicide investigation.

County police identified and arrested Brandon Gaertner as a suspect in Kwiatkowski’s death.

Gaertner was charged with second-degree murder and is being held on a $100,000 cash-only bond.

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