MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. – Exactly one week after she was last seen alive, a missing St. Charles woman has been found dead, police confirmed Tuesday. One person has been taken into custody and is expected to be charged in her death.
Chief Bill Carson, Maryland Heights Police Department, said the body of Jacquelyn “Jacque” Elizabeth Mitchell was found inside an apartment in the 2200 block of Palestra Drive. She was 39.
Authorities from St. Charles and Maryland Heights made the discovery Monday evening. Carson said Mitchell had been dead for approximately six days.
A cause of death was not announced.
The suspect, Joseph Dejoie V, 49, lives at the apartment on Palestra. He was arrested Monday evening.
The St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Dejoie with second-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence, and abandonment of a corpse. Dejoie is in custody at the St. Louis County Justice Center on a $1 million cash-only bond.
Chief Carson said Mitchell and Dejoie were acquaintances.
Mitchell was last seen on March 14. Her family said she went to Maggie O’Brien’s in Sunset Hills around 7 p.m. to grab a bite to eat after work.
She was reported missing to St. Charles police on Thursday, March 16.
Surveillance video from a nearby jewelry store in the same shopping plaza showed Mitchell in the parking lot getting into her car alone just before 11:30 p.m. The owner sent the video to Jacque’s sister, who then turned the video over to police.
Carson said Mitchell left Maggie O’Brien’s and went to Dejoie’s apartment, arriving just after midnight.
There had been a break in the case over the weekend, as Mitchell’s cousin found her Nissan Sentra abandoned at an apartment complex off Schulte Hill Drive, near Interstate 270 and Page Avenue. However, police found no signs of Mitchell’s whereabouts at the time.
Tiffany Mitchell, Jacquelyn’s sister, said her phone last pinged off a cell tower near Highway 364 and Bennington, which is what brought their search to that six-mile radius in Maryland Heights.
Chief Carson said Maryland Heights and St. Charles investigators obtained surveillance video from a business that showed Dejoie driving Mitchell’s Nissan Sentra. They were able to identify Dejoie and track him down to his apartment on Palestra.
According to a probable cause statement from the Maryland Heights Police Department, Dejoie admitted to killing Mitchell. Police also claim Dejoie admitted to leaving Mitchell’s body in his apartment, and to wiping down both her body and car in order to conceal or eliminate evidence.
Police said Dejoie has prior arrests for felonious restraint, first-degree rape, first-degree burglary, and possession of drug paraphernalia.