Two black teenagers were charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in the brutal stabbing death of a 43-year-old Lee’s Summit woman who apparently had no connection to them. The two were also charged with armed criminal action and first-degree tampering.
Prosecutors are seeking to have them certified as adults to face felony state charges rather than felony juvenile charges.
Residents of Lee’s Summit, a conservative suburb of Kansas City that has only seen two other homicides since 2011, are reeling in shock.
Two teens were charged Wednesday afternoon in the stabbing death of a Tonya Chamberlain, a Lee’s Summit woman who was remembered by an old classmate as a beloved friend.
The teens, ages 13 and 14, are both Lee’s Summit residents, police said, but due to their status as juveniles, law prohibits officials from releasing any more information about their identities.
A spokeswoman for the Lee’s Summit Police Department said that police are confident that the two teens are the only parties involved, although details about the crime are still murky.
At 1:15 a.m. Sunday, a police officer tried to apprehend what he thought was an impaired driver. Police said the driver drove over a curb into a grassy common area of an apartment complex, and two males fled on foot from the vehicle. The officer gave chase before losing sight of both. Skid marks remained on a grassy hill near a unit in the Ashbrooke Apartments in the 500 block of SE Second Street in Lee’s Summit that was the sight of the grisly discovery.
The officer found the body of 43-year-old in the passenger seat after he returned to the vehicle.
Lee’s Summit police released surveillance photos and video of the suspects on Tuesday and officers received several tips that led to the arrest of the two boys on Wednesday morning.
Via KMBC 9 News:
“She didn’t know them, and the family had no idea why anyone would target her or why this would happen to her,” said Beth Glover of the Lee’s Summit Police Department. “As far as (whether it was) a carjacking or anything else, I don’t want to speculate at this time. We are still investigating and trying to determine exactly what happened.”