Woman charged with Jefferson Co., MO murder is dead by suicide

Woman charged with Jefferson Co., MO murder is dead by suicide

JEFFERSON COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Sheriff Dave Marshak of Jefferson County Sheriff's Office reported that an inmate at the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Jail was found dead after an apparent suicide.

48-year-old Laurel Leeker, of Hillsboro, MO, was charged with first degree murder and armed criminal action on August 17 for the death of a Festus, MO man.

Deputies responded to a home in the 10000 block of Vail Drive in Festus for a report of a burglary just after 7 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 17.

The victim, Steven Pettit, 49, was found dead inside the home. Pettit, appeared to have been shot with a firearm, and was located lying in his bed in the master bedroom.

Leeker suggested someone entered the home, and shot Pettit while she was in the master bedroom shower. She was the live-in girlfriend of Pettit.

Leeker was found unresponsive when corrections officers found her body on Sunday, October 8 at 5 a.m.

She was in a single cell with no other inmates.

The investigation revealed there were no signs of foul play.

The final cause of death will be made by the Medical Examiners Office.

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