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A man has been charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Missouri woman Monica Sykes.
Ray Ellis, 27, is being held on a $1 million bond on charges of second-degree murder, armed criminal action, and two counts of tampering with physical evidence in connection to Monica's disappearance and death.
Ellis, who family members say was involved in a relationship with Monica, is believed to have been the last person to see her before she disappeared in October. Her remains were found in February and positively identified last week.
According to court documents, Ellis confessed to shooting Monica and dragging her body into a field. Documents also reveal Ellis asked a witness how to burn up a vehicle. His white 2003 Cadillac Deville was found burning several days after Monica was last seen.
Ellis's brother, Jermaine Benjamin, 21, has also been charged in connection with the case for helping set fire to the vehicle, according to NBC affiliate KSDK. The station reports that authorities found a glove containing Benjamin's DNA near the torched car.
Monica was last seen by one of her nephews the morning of October 28, 2016. The 25-year-old, who lived with her sister and nephews in Berkeley, Missouri, reportedly came home that morning, changed clothes, and headed back out. The young boy told her family and police that he saw her get into a white vehicle with an unknown person. That person is now believed to have been Ellis.
Monica was featured in Dateline's Missing in America online article series shortly after she disappeared.
Article Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/missing-in-america/brothers-charged-connection-murder-missouri-woman-monica-sykes-n742826
Friday, March 17, 2017
MURDERS UP IN U.S. CITIES
Dec 19, 2016
The 30 largest U.S. cities saw a double-digit increase in their murder rate in 2016, according to a new year-end report, even as crime nationwide remains near all-time lows.
A new study released Tuesday by New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice projects that the 2016 murder rate for the largest U.S. cities is up 14% from 2015 while the violent crime rate rose by 3.3%. The overall crime rate, however, increased by just 0.3%, thanks in large part to historically low levels of property crime, according to the study's authors.
The trend lines in the report run counter to some of the most dire warnings aired during the presidential election. As a candidate, Donald Trump spoke out against what he characterized as record levels of crime in urban areas. While the murder rate has increased, overall crime across the U.S. is near all-time lows. The report’s authors note that “concerns about a national crime wave are still premature, but these trends suggest a need to understand how and why murder is increasing in some cities.”
Two cities are largely driving the spike in violent crime: Chicago and Charlotte. Violent crime in Chicago is up 17.7% increase this year, and the city accounts for almost 44% of the total increase in murders, according to the report. Charlotte has experienced a number of drug-related murders as well as homicides related to domestic violence and is projected to see a 13.4% increase in violent crime this year.
Of the 30 cities studied, just eight showed an increase in their crime rates from 2015. But the study found that 13 cities, including Los Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia and San Antonio, had increases in their violent crime rates while 21 were projected to see jumps in their murder rates.
Article Source: http://time.com/4607059/murder-rate-increase-us-cities-2016/