'One more hurdle to clear': O'Fallon death investigation nears end

News-DemocratApril 30, 2013 

— The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis is preparing to disband after it appears a woman may have died accidentally after falling down the stairs.

O'Fallon Police Capt. Jeff Wild said Tuesday afternoon that there was "one more hurdle to clear" before the Major Case Squad closed the case.

Taffy R. Caradona-Stewart, 40, was found dead at the bottom of a staircase on Saturday morning after O'Fallon police were called to the house at 1301 Engle Court to check on her. Police called the death suspicious and activated the Major Case Squad on Sunday.

Caradona-Smith's friend told police that he visited her on Friday evening, but was unable to get in contact with her on Saturday morning at her home or on the phone, so he contacted the police.

The doors of the home were locked from the inside, Wild said. Caradona-Smith lived at the home alone.

Detectives were waiting on one more thing before the case could be closed and detectives sent back to their original departments, Wild said. They expected that would happen late Tuesday or early Wednesday morning.

Contact reporter Beth Hundsdorfer at bhundsdorfer@bnd.com or 618-239-2570.

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