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Inmate charged in decades-old St. Louis murder mystery

"I killed Epps in cold blood with a .32 caliber pistol," the inmate wrote in his confession.
Credit: Missouri Department of Corrections

ST. LOUIS — A 19-year murder mystery in St. Louis has possibly been solved.

On February 6, 1999, Floyd Epps was found dead in Eads Square Park near Lafayette Square. Epps had been shot several times.

For nearly two decades, the crime went unsolved and the case went cold.

But on Tuesday, St. Louis Metropolitan Police announced a warrant had been issued in Epps’ murder. The suspect is already behind bars and confessed to the crime, according to court documents.

Deangelo Thomas, 39, is suspected of second-degree murder and armed criminal action. He's currently behind bars at the Northeast Correctional Center in Bowling Green, Missouri. He's serving a sentence for first-degree robbery and armed criminal action.

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Thomas contacted prison personnel and said he wanted to confess to a murder, the charging document stated. In his written confession he wrote:

"My name is DeAngelo Thomas-El, born DeAngelo Lamont Thomas on 7/29/79. I killed Craig Epps in cold blood with a .32 caliber pistol sometime in late 1998 or early 99. I can’t remember exactly when but he ran around the corner from a school, I believe, collapsed and died. This is my confession. DeAngelo Thomas-El.”

An investigator looked into Thomas' confession and verified Epps had been killed in the timeframe given and was found dead near Hogan Elementary School.

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During a taped interview, Thomas explained that he was 19 years old at the time and asked Epps to buy him alcohol. When the victim came out of the store with the booze and money, they got into an argument over how much change he was supposed to get, Thomas said. The fight turned physical and when Epps got the upper hand, Thomas said he pulled out a gun.

Thomas told the investigator he shot Epps while he was running away, and he heard him scream in pain.

Thomas admitted that the two had never met and he learned Epps' name when reading an article in the newspaper the next day.

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He told police he wanted to confess now because he felt guilty and said it was time for closure for both sides, the charging document stated.