Man, toddler fatal in Missouri; 2 members of family pain

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. – A suburb of St. Louis man was charged Friday with stabbing four family members in their home, killing a man and his young son and left two other people fighting for their lives.

The crime happened Thursday in Maryland Heights, Missouri, a middle class suburb with low crime. The police identified those killed as Malcom B. Mathis II, 33, and his 22-month-old son, Malcom Mathis III. Mathis’ 4-year-old daughter was in the hospital in “very critical” condition, and his 57-year-old aunt was in critical but stable condition.

On Friday, prosecutors charged Traveon Sims, 20, with two counts of first-degree murder, along with armed criminal action and violence. Sims is the cousin of Mathis.

An alleged accomplice, Onyai Turner, 21, was charged with one count of first degree murder and armed criminal action. Both suspects are jailed without bond and have not yet mentioned lawyers.

St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch said at a press conference that the Sims was paroled in May after serving time for robbery. The Mathis family took him in, but later kicked him out of the house. Police chief Bill Carson said in an earlier press conference that Sims was apparently kicked out of six to eight months ago.

“She wouldn’t let him stay in the house longer,” McCulloch said. “And I think that is what ultimately led to this.”

Mathis’ wife, who is also the mother of the children, the victims in the different areas of the two-story house on Thursday evening. Police believe the elderly woman and children were stabbed earlier in the day, and Mathis was attacked when he came home later.

“The pitch actually took place over a period of time” of late-afternoon to early evening Thursday, Carson said.

“This is probably one of the most brutal and violent crime scenes I’ve ever seen,” Carson said.

McCulloch declined to discuss specific details of the crime, but said Turner was an active participant.”

The police urged the suspects to a St. Louis motel, where they were arrested without incident between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. Friday, Carson said.

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