PACIFIC, Mo. — Police now have two juveniles in custody who they believe are connected to the death of 18-year-old Kiley Kennedy, a senior at Eureka High School.
The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office held a news conference Friday afternoon to give an update on the case.
Officials said at 7:05 a.m. on Dec. 1, the Franklin County Sheriff's Department received a 911 call from a local resident about a young woman lying on the ground in the area of Highway 100 and Country Aire Drive.
When deputies arrived, they found Kennedy lying face down. Police believe the actual crime happened several hours before she was found.
Lt. Tom Wilkison with the Major Case Squad — which was contacted for assistance on the case — revealed that an investigation on the scene showed Kennedy was shot one time in the chest.
A team of about 30 detectives worked quickly to find a person(s) of interest.
Their investigation led to two 16-year-old boys from Pacific, Missouri. Because they are juveniles, their names have not been released.
They were taken into custody Thursday evening and are being held at the St. Charles County Detention facility, charged with second-degree murder by the Franklin County Family Court.
Police also discovered a 9mm pistol, which they believe to be the murder weapon.
Wilkison said Kennedy was led to the murder location in Franklin County by the two suspects. When she arrived, there was an altercation over narcotics and money before she was shot, he said.
Kennedy and the suspects do have a relationship, however, it's unknown to what extent, stated Wilkison.
The two suspects did not attend the same school as Kennedy, but it's unclear if they were students in the Rockwood School District.
Rockwood School District Director of Student Services, Terry Harris states, “We have a counselor, social worker, and an administrator walk the schedule of the child that's no longer with us, and so they go to each one of those rooms and we stop class and explain as much as we can. She was a fiesty kid who was very confident and would say certain things, maybe upset, and then the very next day she would go to her counselor and say I love you. She was a typical teenager."
This case will be heard at the Family Court of Franklin County. Court dates are not set at this time.
Steve Pelton, Franklin County Sheriff, released the following statement:
On behalf of the men and women at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and the Major Case Squad I want to extend our condolences to the family and friends of Kiley Kennedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
We knew early that this investigation would take us into the St. Louis area and we reached out to the Major Case Squad for additional resources to assist in this investigation. They did an outstanding job!
I want to publically say thank you to the members of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, The Major Case Squad of greater St. Louis, the Franklin County Juvenile Office and the Franklin County Prosecutor for their collaboration, dedication and commitment to bring justice for Kiley.
We also want to thank the citizens that provided information which aided in this investigation.
Pelton adds, “It's tragic when a life is lost in general, but to have someone so young and the suspects being young, it's really disheartening.“
A GoFundMe page has been set up and verified as a way for the public to contribute to Kennedy's memorial expenses. Those interested in donating can click here.