Michael C. Murphy

UPDATE: Despite not obtaining positive identification, the Franklin County Sheriff's Office has released the name of the woman who was murdered in the Lake St. Clair subdivision Wednesday afternoon.

She is Stephanie Tauchert, 40, the sheriff's office reported Friday afternoon. 


Prosecuting Attorney Bob Parks filed felony charges Friday morning against a St. Clair man accused of murdering his girlfriend at the home they shared in Lake St. Clair subdivision.

Michael C. Murphy, 58, was captured about 10:20 a.m. Friday after an extensive manhunt within the subdivision.

More than 100 officers from law enforcement agencies throughout the area were called in to assist in the search.

Following his capture, Murphy was taken to Mercy Hospital Washington for examination after being on the run since the murder occurred about 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Lt. Chuck Subke, chief of detectives with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, said once Murphy was declared fit for confinement he will be taken to the county jail for questioning.

Parks filed charges of murder in the first degree and armed criminal action against Murphy. He requested a $2 million cash-only bond in the case..

“That’s because he is considered a flight risk,” Parks said.

“I’ve received oral reports from detectives and based on those and the preliminary autopsy findings, I feel we have probable cause to charge him,” Parks noted.

The victim was shot “multiple times,” according to a probable cause statement filed in court.

The Capture

Sheriff Gary Toelke said that members of his command staff set up a grid search of the area. It was thought that the suspect was still in the densely wooded area near where deputies found his truck Wednesday evening but a search of that area turned up “negative,” Toelke said.

SWAT team officers with the Missouri Highway Patrol began searching another area on the grid and as they were checking some homes, they located Murphy hiding behind a log at the corner of a house.

A patrol canine that was assisting officers dragged Murphy from behind the log, Toelke said. The man sustained a small bite wound.

Not Armed

Toelke said detectives asked Murphy about the rifle he was seen carrying Wednesday night and he told them he had stashed it in a wooded area about two miles away, but didn’t think he could find it again.

The sheriff said his officers plan to show the suspect aerial photos to possibly aid in locating the gun.

Name Not Released

Subke said the name of the 40-year-old victim will not be released until detectives have positive identification. The woman’s dental records were not good enough to identify her but she had ankle surgery in the past and investigators plan to find out where the surgery was performed and obtain more information.