Ex-boyfriend wanted for deadly stabbing in East St. Louis

ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ill. (KSDK) -- Police are searching for the ex-boyfriend of a woman found stabbed to death.

Montrell Cooper, 25, is a person of interest in the stabbing death of Michelle Rowling, East St. Louis police said Sunday.

Michelle Rowling, 25, was found inside her apartment on North 6th street just before 9:00 Saturday night.

Police are now looking for Montrell Cooper. No charges have been filed in this case, but in 2012 Cooper served a year in jail for stabbing Rowling in the neck.

He was released this year.

Then in August of this year, investigators say Cooper was arrested again for assaulting the victim.

Rowling's neighbors say there were warning signs. They say Rowling posted her concerns on Facebook.

"She said 'so if anything happens to me tonight just let my kids know I love them dearly and tell my mom I love her' and that was posted on November 25th at 9:49 p.m." said Angel Spiller, Rowling's neighbor.

St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly says on that same day cooper was released from jail for the August Assault. He says in 2012 he sought prison time but Rowling testified on behalf of Cooper, so he got probation. On Monday, Kelly once again sought prison time for the August assault but says Rowling was uncooperative and the court released Cooper on probation once again.

"And look what happened now they have to find a home for her kids," said Spiller.

Police say Rowling's children are staying with her family members.

Montrell Cooper was last seen driving a black 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe with an Illinois license plate of "R58 3531."

Anyone with information is asked to call the East St. Louis Police Department at (618)482-6767.


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