Major Case Squad holds a press conference

Lt. Tom Wilkison, center, speaks to the press about a case involving the death of Kiley Kennedy, a senior at Eureka High School, whose body was found near Pacific. Two juvenile suspects were charged in the case, each with second-degree murder.

Kiley Kennedy, 18, whose body was found at a mobile home park near Highway 100 and Country Air Drive in Pacific, was killed in a narcotics-related shooting, Lt. Thomas Wilkison of the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis said during a press conference Friday afternoon.

Kennedy’s body was discovered Wednesday just after 7 a.m., and Franklin County Sheriff’s deputies were the first to respond to reports of the body, but called in the major case squad after arriving at the scene.

Kennedy had been shot one time in the chest, Wilkison said, and police found a 9 mm handgun inside an undisclosed residence in Pacific that they believe was the murder weapon. Kennedy was allegedly led to the Highway 100 location by the suspects, Wilkison said, and the shooting occurred there during an altercation over narcotics and money. Her body was found on the ground next to her car.

Police have identified two 16-year-old male suspects from the Pacific area, Franklin County Sheriff Steve Pelton said.

As minors, authorities are not revealing their names.

They lived in the mobile home park adjacent to where Kennedy was shot. The two knew her, Wilkison said, but they did not attend school with Kennedy, who was a Eureka High School senior. 

The two juveniles were taken into custody Thursday night and are being held at the St. Charles County Family Court Detention Center. They are each being charged with one count of second-degree murder by the Franklin County Family Court. Court dates have not yet been set. Wilkison said decisions over whether to try the suspects as adults would be made by the court.

“On behalf of the men and women at the Franklin County Sheriff’s office and the investigators with the major case squad, we want to extend out condolences to the family and friends of Kiley Kennedy,” Pelton said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with you.”

He thanked the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis, his deputies at the Sheriff’s Department, the Franklin County Juvenile Office, the St. Charles County Court, Franklin County prosecutors and the citizens that provided information.

“Every person matters,” Pelton said. “When it comes to crime, especially violent crime, we will use every resource at our fingertips and all man power we can muster to bring suspects to justice.”