By CJ Cassidy
ST. FRANCOIS COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Police say a case that began as a domestic dispute ended in a murder-suicide.
Investigators found 23-year-old Michael Johnson's body at a home in Jefferson County near DeSoto, Missouri early Tuesday morning. The St. Francois County sheriff says the investigation is far from over, even though they are certain they know who killed 61-year-old Gary Mayer.
In the meantime, the woman at the center of the dispute, shared her heartbreaking story with us.
"My father was going to my house to get my kids and me some clothes because we were trying to get out of there," Kim Mayer said.
She says she had no doubt her ex-boyfriend Michael Johnson planned on hurting her.
"He said he was going to kill me all weekend," she said sobbing.
So when her father, Gary Mayer, called her from her St. Francois County home on Monday, Kim reacted immediately.
"He called me and said call the cops. It looks like someone's in the house, and so I called the house when we got there. All the police were there and he had been shot. Michael had shot him. He was hiding in the house I guess," she said.
St. Francois County Sheriff Dan Bullock says it took about 12 hours before deputies found Johnson.
That's after they tracked down the Jeep they say Johnson stole from Gary Mayer, at a Jefferson County house.
"We went in the home and that's where we found Mr. Johnson. He had apparently hung himself," Bullock said.
Sheriff Bullock also says investigators began looking for Johnson last week after Kim Mayer reported the threats he allegedly made against her.
Mayer also filed for an order of protection against the man she dated for about eight months, after she says he hit her with a mop handle.
Now, Mayer says she believes her father saved her life and her childrens' lives by getting to her home ahead of her, Monday afternoon.
"He was always there for me and my kids and that's why he's dead right now. Because he was trying to help us get away from here," she said.
Mayer says she believes someone helped Johnson hide last week, but the sheriff would only say they looked for him without any success.
The sheriff also says they haven't found the gun used to kill Gary Mayer.