Michael Murphy caught after Lake St. Clair manhunt

1:04 PM, Apr 27, 2012   |    comments
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Lake St. Clair, MO (KSDK) - Michael Murphy, a man suspected of killing his 40-year-old girlfriend, was taken into custody around 10:30 a.m. Friday after an intense manhunt in Lake St. Clair, according to the Franklin County Sheriff.

The 57-year-old man was taken to an area hospital in an ambulance for treatment of a dog bite.

Sheriff Toelke said a Missouri Highway Patrol team, assisted by a St. Louis County officer, found Murphy hiding behind a log in the 1500 block of Deer Run. A K-9 unit with them dragged Murphy out from behind the log.

Sheriff Toelke said he looked "tattered" and that you could tell he had been out for a few days.

Murphy told investigators he hid the weapon in a wooded area several miles from the location.  Investigators have been dispatched to search for the gun.

The Franklin County prosecuting attorney charged Murphy with first-degree murder and armed criminal action for the death of Stephanie Tauchert .

The search Thursday night and Friday morning was centered in a Lake St. Clair neighborhood after the Franklin County Sheriff's Department said Murphy visited his son's house Thursday night.

The sheriff's department said the suspect's son told them his father had been to the residence, trying to get him to give him a ride. The son turned him down and told Murphy to turn himself in. The suspect left the residence, prompting the search.

Police spent the morning searching cars and set up a perimeter with the assistance of the SWAT team.

Thursday afternoon, Maplewood police and the Missouri Highway Patrol went to the suspect's brother's home on Edgar Avenue for questioning.

Police were following up on a tip that there had been a sighting of the suspect at the home, but Franklin County Sheriff Toelke said the police presence in the area is to question the brother.

Tauchert was found dead happened Wednesday night at a home in the Lake St. Clair development off of Highway PP.


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