ST. PETERS, Mo. — A Missouri man has been charged with killing a pregnant woman he met online and stabbed dozens of times near her home on Thanksgiving, authorities said Thursday.
Damion Delgado, 27, of O’Fallon, is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the Nov. 26 death of Amethyst “Ame” Killian, 22, of St. Peters. He is also charged with second-degree murder for the death of Killian’s unborn child.
Delgado attempted to kill himself by slashing his wrists on his front porch Nov. 30, KMOV in St. Louis reported. He was treated at a hospital and survived.
Killian was five months pregnant when she was slain. She also has a 6-year-old daughter and an 11-month-old son.
Tim Lohmar, prosecuting attorney for St. Charles County, said during a news conference that Killian was stabbed more than 20 times, mostly in the head, neck and abdomen.
“This was not a random act of violence. This was a targeted act of violence,” the prosecutor said. “Unfortunately, the victim and the defendant in this case were engaged in a potentially dangerous situation and ultimately, she lost her life.”
Lohmar did not specify what Killian and Delgado were doing.
“I think if we talk too much about that, we take away from the real story here, which is the tragic loss of life,” he said.
He said Delgado has very little prior criminal history. No motive for the “very violent, violent killing” has been determined.
“From all accounts, these actions on his part were unexpected, to say the least,” Lohmar told reporters.
Delgado is being held in the St. Charles County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond.
Lohmar said Killian was reported missing Thanksgiving night by her family, who said she’d left home around 1:30 that morning to buy cigarettes and never returned.
Her boyfriend and stepfather began looking for her and, about 20 hours after she’d left home, they found her purse and some of her clothes at Old Towne Park, less than 500 feet from home. They called the St. Peters Police Department.
“It was not long after that, that the victim’s lifeless body was found stashed deep into some brush at the back of the property,” Lohmar said.
Lohmar said detectives found several drops of blood on a sidewalk and fence at the crime scene, as well as a bloody knife. Testing of the blood showed that it belonged to an unknown man.
Investigators also learned that Killian frequently used the TextNow app on her phone to communicate with people. The records of Killian’s conversations, which were subpoenaed, showed that her last messages were to and from Delgado.
They were able to identify Delgado as a potential suspect by tracing the source of the texts to Killian to the IP address at his home.
“Further investigation revealed that Delgado was seen on surveillance video about 10 to 15 minutes before he met up with the victim at a local gas station,” Lohmar said.
The prosecutor explained that in one of his texts to Killian, Delgado had mentioned an item he’d just bought at a St. Peters gas station. That item was found at the scene of Killian’s homicide.
Investigators were able to track where Delgado had purchased the item and obtain the surveillance footage. A photo of Delgado found in Department of Revenue records allowed the detectives to identify him on the footage as the man who’d bought that piece of evidence.
Watch prosecutor Tim Lohmar speak about Killian’s slaying below, courtesy of KMOV in St. Louis.
About two dozen detectives from the police department and the Greater St. Louis Major Case Squad worked the case around the clock over the past week.
“It is the textbook definition of good police work,” Lohmar said.
Delgado and Killian did not know one another before the day of her death.
“The victim and Delgado had connected with one another online and they had arranged a meeting that night, in the early morning hours of Nov. 26,” according to the prosecutor. “Aside from that, there’s no connection between the victim and Delgado.”
Four days after the crime, a search warrant was obtained for Delgado’s home, where detectives seized additional evidence. They also obtained a DNA sample from Delgado.
His DNA profile matched that of the blood found at the scene of the killing, Lohmar said.
Investigators also interviewed an Uber driver who remembered driving Delgado to the scene of the crime.
Killian’s cousin, Gabriell Tat, established a GoFundMe page to help pay for the slain woman’s funeral and help support her children.
“(Her daughter) is a smart, talented, amazing little girl who will now have to grow up without her mommy, and (her son) is a handsome, smart, loving little boy who will never get the chance to know his mommy,” Tat wrote on the page. “Ame was five months pregnant, so not only do we have the loss of my cousin but also, we lost a soon to be addition to our family.
“If you can’t donate, please share and say a prayer for our family for comfort and support in the coming weeks. God bless all of you. Give your loved ones a kiss and hold them extra tight.”
The page had raised nearly $12,000 as of Thursday afternoon.
Cox Media Group