Neighbor says alleged Catholic Supply store killer was as friendly as ever

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IMPERIAL, Mo. – A neighbor of Catholic Supply murder suspect Thomas Bruce said she just talked to him the day before his arrest.

Crystal Kempfer said Bruce he walked right by her with his dog late Tuesday afternoon and even asked how she was doing. She said he was as friendly as any other day.

At that time, Bruce was the subject of a far-reaching manhunt.

Authorities staged outside of his mobile home park around 11 p.m. Tuesday and watched him closely. They arrested him Wednesday morning at his trailer on Geranium Drive in the Quail Run Mobile Home Park in Imperial.

Detectives were still inside his home late Wednesday searching for evidence. The home belongs to Bruce and his wife, who moved in over the summer.

Bruce’s resume does not seem to match what you’d expect out of someone accused of this crime. His LinkedIn page indicates he was not only an insurance agent but also a customer service rep at the Jewish Community Center, a Schnucks manager, a volunteer pastor at a jail, and claimed to be an 11-year Navy veteran.

Kempfer said Bruce was her favorite neighbor to talk to.

“I hope it’s not him,” she said. “I really do hope because he was the most friendliest neighbor. We talked on a daily basis.”

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