Police locate murder suspect James Kempf

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UPDATE:

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO -  St. Louis County Police report murder suspect, James Kempf, has been located in the state of Arkansas.  When law enforcement attempted to take Kempf into custody, he committed suicide.  This occurred in rural northwest Arkansas.  Arkansas State Police are conducting the investigation.

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO - Police take to the woods and the air in day 5 the manhunt for a suspected killer in Fenton.

 

There had been no reported sightings of James Kempf, 45, police said. 

 

He disappeared without his car and has yet to use his phone or financial accounts, police said.

 

Digital billboards across the St. Louis area were flashing his name and picture, Monday, along with the words “wanted for assault and murder”. 

 

Close to a dozen St. Louis County police officers searched around homes, barns, and a wooded area behind Rockwood Summit High School, which is near Thursday night’s murder scene. 

 

Police also used two drones to search from the sky.

 

Kempf shot his estranged wife in the leg at the home they used to share.  According to court records, she was in the process of divorcing Kempf and had a restraining order against him. 

 

Her father, John Colter, 66, was picking up the couple’s children, ages 8 and 4, and putting them into his vehicle when his daughter ran for help, Colter went into the house to confront Kempf, police said.

 

When police arrived, they found the kids still in the vehicle.  They later found Colter in the house, shot dead.  

 

Residents found Monday’s manhunt a bit unnerving but not surprising. 

 

“It was a little close to home,” said nearby resident, Theresa Petry.  “I heard about it, was aware, had been locking my doors because of it.  Then, I saw SWAT walking down my road.  Then they put the drone pad in the middle of my driveway. They asked if they could search my barn and search the area.”

 

Monday’s search turned up nothing, according to police. 

 

Investigators are wondering if Kempf is still alive. 

 

Your anonymous tip may bring a $5,000 reward in this case.  If you have any information, call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS or call St. Louis County Police.

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