Unsolved murders in Brentwood, University City fueling fears about public safety

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ST. LOUIS – New information about recent unsolved murder cases in Brentwood and University City is fueling fears about safety in public tonight.

Investigators say robbery may be the motive for the crimes. They believe multiple suspects were in a vehicle linked to the crimes Saturday night.

Crimestoppers is offering a $30,000 reward for anonymous tips to solve the murders of Barbara Goodkin, 71, and Dr. Sergei Zacharev, 58.

Dr. Zacharev was shot near the Bonefish Grill Brentwood around 11:45 p.m., according to police. Goodkin was shot an hour earlier as she and her husband drove down Delmar near Old Bonhomme in University City, about two miles away from the Brentwood scene.

Investigators confirmed a ballistics match from a weapon used in the crimes.

A friend of Dr. Zacharev’s told Fox 2 News that Zacharev’s belongings were stolen after he was shot.

“My understanding is that all of Dr. Zacharev’s belongings were also taken away,” Zacharev’s long-time friend and Attorney Alexander Kourbatov said. “He just flew back from Miami that night and he had a suitcase or suitcases with him. I understand he was wearing Crocs/flip flops, shorts, and a shirt. All of his belongings were taken so I doubt that a targeted killing would really necessitate taking all of a person’s belongings.”

Surveillance cameras show the potential suspect’s vehicle, a silver/metallic compact SUV going eastbound on Delmar around 10:45 Saturday night near the crime scene and beyond.

The low-quality images do not give a clear view of the vehicle.

Investigators asked the public for more tips and more video, Wednesday.

“We would like more. We need and desperately want the public’s help in this. We are a community. The only way we solve things is together,” Major Case Squad Deputy Commander Lt. Jack Abell said.

“There doesn’t seem to be any type of links between the victims. Robbery is looking like a possible motive,” Capt. Fredrick Lemons of the University City Police Department added.

Capt. Lemons said Goodkin’s husband is out of the hospital and in good condition. He could have been killed too, but for his cell phone.

“He took a round right in the chest,” Capt. Lemons said. “Thank goodness his cellphone was there. His cellphone was there and he was able to drive himself and his wife to an area hospital. So, we want to make sure Mr. Goodkin and his family are able to receive justice for Babara Goodkin.”

The same goes for the loved ones of Dr. Zacharev.

Thirty-six University City and Major Case Squad detectives are now part of a joint investigation into the murders, Lt. Abell said.

Call University City Police or the Major Case Sqad (via the Brentwood Police Department) with any information or additional video.

Call CrimeStoppers with anonymous tips at (866) 371-TIPS to claim the $30,000 reward.

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