crimesider

Mo. boy, 6, alleged abductor dead in apparent murder-suicide

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A 6-year-old Jefferson City boy and a St. Louis man charged with kidnapping him were found dead at a southeastern Missouri home in what police said Wednesday was an apparent homicide-suicide.

Officers in Cape Girardeau were summoned to a home Tuesday night and found Markell X. Beasley and 40-year-old Demetrius Beasley with gunshot wounds.

An Amber Alert had been issued just hours earlier for Markell, whose mother had let him travel to St. Louis over the weekend with relatives of Demetrius Beasley, The Jefferson City News Tribune reported.

Beasley was not Markell’s biological father and had no legal rights to the boy, but had a previous relationship with the mother and had been involved in raising the child, according to police.

Michelle Gelling, Markell’s mother, told Jefferson City police she let the boy go to St. Louis on Saturday for what she was told would be a Christmas gathering. Gelling later learned that there was no gathering and that the relatives had turned Markell over to Beasley, the newspaper reported.

In a series of text messages and phone calls, Beasley told Gelling he would not return her son, police said. He also made threatening statements toward anyone who might try to take the child from him.

Authorities issued an endangered child advisory Tuesday but later upgraded it to an Amber Alert as prosecutors in Jefferson City charged Beasley with kidnapping.

Beasley told Gelling during their exchanges that, “God would see Markell before she would,” investigators said in court documents. Beasley also said he would not go back to prison — an apparent reference to earlier felony convictions in Cape Girardeau and St. Francois counties.

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