(KSDK) -- NewsChannel 5 has learned that the woman killed by her estranged husband on Friday, recently tried to hire bodyguards for protection.
The violent end that came to two women's lives, and their killer Friday night, is not something that Kelli Alexander’s attorney says would have surprised her client.
As two families prepare to bury two loving mothers, a story of control and emotional abuse is surfacing.
The First Calls
Des Peres police dispatchers send the first units to the 2600 block of Bopp Road, they quickly learn two women have been shot to death. Found shot were Kelli Alexander, 35, and her friend, April Wheeler, 29.
Police say Alexander’s three children, ages 8, 6, and 5 witnessed their father, John Alexander, 38, ambush the two women before he sped away and crashed his SUV on Highway 40 at Lindbergh, killing him.
Monday morning, lawyers acting in the interest of the Alexander children sealed the restraining orders to protect their privacy.
"The kids are fine. They're around family and friends. They've been reunited with family members they have been kept from, so they're very pleased about that,” said Kelli Alexander’s attorney Jody Wolff.
Wolff says John Alexander had forbidden his wife to see or talk with members of her family, including her ailing father.
Friends of the late mother of three, said she had changed after marrying him. "When she met John she instantly changed, her clothes became baggy, she wasn't expressive, she became withdrawn," said Stephanie Howlett, a friend of Kelli Alexander.
She was apparently scared in the past few weeks.
Joe Adams, a private investigator, says Kelli Alexander contacted his office because she believed her life was in danger and restraining orders wouldn't protect her.
"I received a phone call sometime early in February from the now deceased Mrs. Alexander, and she was inquiring about protective service body guards, private detective work. She told me on that occasion that she expected her husband to kill her,” says Adams.
But Adams says Kelli Alexander didn't have the money to hire a bodyguard. Her husband, she said, controlled the money.
Adams also says John Alexander tried to hire his own private detective to follow his estranged wife.
Funeral services for Kelli Alexander will be held Friday at Bellerive Forever Cemetery on Mason Road in Creve Coeur.
Visitation will be at 11am with a service following at 3p.m.
Funeral arrangements for April Wheeler are still pending.
The attorney for John Alexander declined to comment for this story, citing attorney client privilege, but is helping police with their investigation.
Victim Did Everything Right To Protect Herself, Family
Abuse counselors say Kelli Alexander did everything society tells her to do to keep herself and her children safe. Michelle Schiller-Baker is executive director of St. Martha's Hall, a shelter for battered women and children.
She says sadly, sometimes women are forced to go one step further.
"At some point many of these women have to make the horrible decision and the difficult decision, of maybe I just need to leave this area to remain safe, but the resources are out there to help her do those things," says Schiller-Baker.
If you are a domestic violence victim, there is help available 24 hours a day.
In St. Louis City
Call Women's Support And Community Services
In St. Louis County
Call Life Source Counseling
Outside St. Louis
Call the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence