UPDATE: Murder Suspect Michael C. Murphy Captured - The Missourian: News

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UPDATE: Murder Suspect Michael C. Murphy Captured

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Hiddenlake Drive St. Clair MO

Posted: Friday, April 27, 2012 8:20 am | Updated: 10:07 am, Wed Jul 3, 2013.

UPDATE: Law enforcement officers captured murder suspect Michael C. Murphy shortly before 10:30 a.m. Friday following an extensive search of the Lake St. Clair subdivision.

More than 100 officers were called out to sweep the subdivision after Murphy's son reported Thursday night that the suspect had come to his home and asked for a ride. The son refused to aid the man.

When he went to the son's home about 11 p.m. he was said to be close to exhaustion from eluding officers who were searching the area throughout the day Thursday.

The man apparently had been hiding and running from the searching officers in dense woods around the subdivision.

Check back for more updates on this breaking story.

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Law enforcement authorities continued their search on Thursday for a man suspected of killing a woman in the Lake St. Clair subdivision late Wednesday afternoon.

Sheriff Gary Toelke said officers are seeking to arrest Michael C. Murphy, 57, in connection with the homicide investigation.

Franklin County Sheriff's Office Lt. Steve Elliott, who is in charge of trying to locate Murphy, said on Thursday afternoon he did not know if authorities are any closer to locating the suspect.

"We don't know if he's out here," Elliott told The Missourian from the west end of Hidden Lake Drive inside the development where the search was concentrated on Thursday. "But we're following up on all leads."

The address where the shooting took place has been confirmed as 1405 Oakwood Drive in the southern end of the development. The name of the woman, age 40, who was shot has not been released. Toelke said she and Murphy had an "on-again, off-again" boyfriend-girlfriend relationship.

The sheriff said he believed the incident started as a domestic dispute of some kind and escalated from there. There was no one else in the home at the time of the shooting, he said.

It was reported that neighbors saw Murphy leaving the residence carrying a rifle. It also was reported he got into a pickup and drove away.

The sheriff described Murphy as being 5' 8" tall and weighing about 220 pounds. He was wearing blue jeans or shorts and a white T-shirt.

Murphy was last confirmed to be somewhere near the west end of Hidden Lake Drive Wednesday after the incident. The pickup was found abandoned there and a K-9 unit tracked his scent later on Wednesday to the edge of the lake. Authorities referred to the body of water as Lake No. 4.

Members of the Sullivan Dive Team searched the west end of the lake on Thursday afternoon, but did not find the shotgun or anything else in the water. A second K-9 unit on the scene Thursday afternoon came up with some kind of evidence "hit," but it was determined not to be a major find. Officials at the scene would not elaborate further.

Police still are looking into whether Murphy was seen later on Wednesday evening at the old asphalt plant on West Springfield Road west of Lake St. Clair and then shortly thereafter crossing Interstate 44 near the St. Clair VFW and the Agape House near Highway WW.

A woman said she saw Murphy at the asphalt plant, and a member of a St. Louis helicopter crew assisting in the search reportedly saw a man enter an Agape House apartment a short time later on the other side of the interstate.

Authorities converged on the Agape House and the area was cleared, but Murphy was not found.

If anyone sees Murphy, they should not approach him. Instead, they should call 636-583-2560.

St. Clair police, Franklin County deputies and Missouri Highway Patrol troopers sealed off entrances to the subdivision for at least two hours after the incident Wednesday. Authorities were armed at the entrances as the search for Murphy continued, and they remained armed on Thursday. 

The fatal shooting occurred shortly before 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

Reports of gunshots in St. Clair and around the area overnight Wednesday into Thursday were checked by authorities.

Lake St. Clair is just south and west of the St. Clair city limits.

Toelke told The Missourian on Wednesday night that there are three men named Michael Murphy who live in the area. Besides the suspect, another is St. Clair R-XIII School District Superintendent Michael D. Murphy.

For more, please see the Weekend Missourian.

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