St. Louis County authorities unraveling triple homicide rooted in domestic violence

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo–Bobby McCulley, 35, killed his wife and two of her children at their home on Lockwig Trail in North County late Thursday night before taking his own life, authorities said.

McCulley’s mother, Michelle Clayton, was jailed Friday.

She’s charged with misleading police to protect her son. Her bond was set at $25,000, cash only.

Bobby McCulley had already been charged with the murders and kidnapping when his body was found in his car near his mother’s home in the 1300 block of Clinton Street in North St. Louis, Friday morning.

Police say Roseann McCulley, 34, her son Kayden Johnson, 13, and her daughter, Kaylee Brooks, 6, were held against their will then shot and killed in their home around 11:30 Thursday night.

Bobby McCulley was the only suspect.

Police were actively looking for him on a domestic violence complaint at the time of the shootings.

“There were some issues in the family with Mr. McCulley and this victim,” said Lt. Col. Steve Sack of the St. Louis County Police Department. “Detectives had been looking for him to further an investigation. They were actually looking for him yesterday.”

Police never expected what happened later.

“Last night about 8:30 officers responded to a residence near the victim’s residence for a suspicious person. They searched the area. They did not locate anybody out there at that time,” Sack said. “About 3 hours later, they received a call for shots fired. When they responded they found a window broken in the residence. That’s when they found the 3 victims in the residence.”

Roseann McCulley’s daughter, Zoe, 1, was missing, at first. An Ambert Alert was issued for her and her father, Bobby McCulley. He had just filed for divorce from Roseann in the past week, according to court records.

She filed a domestic violence complaint against him in 2017, authorities said, but decided not to prosecute and the case lacked evidence without her cooperation.

The two later married and had a daughter.

Police tracked his car his mother’s block on Clinton Street in North St. Louis near Interstate 70 this morning.

Bobby McCulley was in the car, dead, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. He had dropped off the baby, unharmed, at a relative’s house, not long after the shootings on Lockwig Trail.

“This is a call to action for everyone,” said St. Louis County Prosecutor, Wesley Bell. “We need people to point their family members or friends to the types of resources to get them help or if it’s already crossed that line of violence, sometimes you’ve got to do the uncomfortable thing which is to report it to law enforcement because maybe it might strain that relationship but it might save someone’s life, too.”

Records show at least 5 police calls from the McCulley home in the last couple of weeks, one of them for domestic violence. There was also a suspicious person call from a neighbor last night, police said, about 3 hours before the shootings.

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