A 40-year-old St. Louis man was charged Wednesday afternoon with the murder of a former East St. Louis woman whose baby was found abandoned two months ago in a St. Louis apartment building owned by the defendant.
Dyanthany Y. Proudie, of the 4100 block of Ashland Avenue in St. Louis, was charged with the first-degree murder of Ebony Jackson. Proudie also was charged with armed criminal action and ordered held without bond.
Prosecutors said he was an acquaintance who reconnected with Jackson. Jackson, 30, grew up in East St. Louis and was visiting from Oklahoma City to show off her new baby to family members in the metro-east and in St. Louis.
The baby was found alive and with a full bottle in his car seat Jan. 4 in an apartment building hallway near Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Jackson's body was found Jan. 8 in the trunk of her car in north St. Louis.
"Ebony Jackson and the defendant were acquaintances who reconnected when Jackson came to town for a visit," according to a probable cause statement released by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce.
"Jackson had her infant son with her during her visit. Jackson, the defendant and the baby were in an apartment in the 4100 block of Ashland, a building owned by the defendant. Jackson went to the bathroom to take a bath and while she was preparing the tub, the defendant shot her one time in the head near her left ear," the statement continued.
"The defendant removed Jackson's body from the apartment and placed it in the trunk of her vehicle."
Joyce said the defendant's estranged wife lived in the same apartment complex in which Jackson's child was abandoned. Jackson's vehicle with her body in the trunk was found several blocks away from the defendant's apartment.
David Marzullo, a spokesman for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, said Proudie was arrested Tuesday night.
Tondra Mosley, Jackson's cousin, said neither the suspect's name nor face were familiar to her. She said the family is grateful to have some answers.
"Thank you to the community at large.... First and foremost, thank you to the police officers for their diligence and everybody's cohesive goal in finding justice," Mosley said.
The family said Jackson had been through a series of surgeries since an accident when she was a teen. She didn't expect to have a child, so she was thrilled after delivering her son, Donovan Prom. They said she was just getting to a place where her life was becoming normal.
Harold Parker and his wife, Erica Reed, were part of the public effort to provide a reward for the capture of Jackson's killer. They raised $8,200 on Monday at their Gulf Shores Restaurant in St. Louis for CrimeStoppers.
"Any progress in the case is satisfaction to me because the fact remains that the way she was killed was a terrible way for anyone to lose their life," Parker said.
In addition, the Pine Lawn Police Department raised $8,000 in reward money for CrimeStoppers to use in the Jackson case.
Lisa Pisciotta, executive director of CrimeStoppers, said she doesn't yet know whether detectives used information from CrimeStoppers tips to locate the suspect. If no one gets the money, Pisciotta said it will go toward solving other, similar cases.
Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at (618) 239-2503.