Ex-Boyfriend Charged with Murder of South St. Louis Mom, Daughters

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  • Ronald Marr faces three first-degree murders.

A South St. Louis mother’s ex-boyfriend was charged with three cases of first degree murder in her death and the killing of her children.

Ronald Marr, 34, was arrested Thursday in Effingham, Illinois, while allegedly attempting to skip town on a greyhound bus.

Police say he shot dead Kanisha Hemphill, 30, and her two daughters aged eight and one. The youngest was his own child.

Officials responded to a report of gunfire at Hemphill’s home on the 4100 block of South Grand Boulevard in the Dutchtown neighborhood of St. Louis just before 7 a.m. Thursday morning. Inside, they discovered the bodies of the mother and her children.

It is not clear what led to the shootings. Even before Marr was named by the police, Hemphill’s brother told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he immediately suspected the ex-boyfriend of past conflicts between the ex-couple.

In court documents filed by prosecutors in the St. Louis District Attorney’s Office, St. Louis Police Officer Katherine Rund wrote that a witness heard gunshots Thursday morning and then saw Marr leave Hemphill’s house. Rund says Marr then dropped his cell phone and bought a new one along with a bus ticket. He was intercepted at Effingham, a little over 100 miles from St. Louis.

He was detained in Illinois Friday morning pending extradition to St. Louis. In addition to the three cases of first degree murder, he was also charged with three cases of armed criminal acts. He is held without bond.

In Rund’s explanation of the probable cause, she argues that Marr poses a danger to the witness and has already been shown to be a flight risk.

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