Person of interest sought in sex offender homicide in Parkfield Terrace

News-DemocratFebruary 8, 2014 

Members of the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis on Saturday said they have developed a person of interest in connection with a Parkfield Terrace homicide, but they are not yet releasing his identity.

William E. Harriel Jr., 26, of 179 Amelia Drive, was found Thursday night lying on the roadway in the area of 159 Amelia Drive, with one gunshot wound to his head.

"The investigators who are working with the Major Case Squad developed several important leads and several valuable items of evidence have been identified, pointing us to a person of interest," said St. Clair County Sheriff's Department Lt. George Mokriakow, who is serving as deputy commander of the Major Case Squad.

"The victim was a registered sex offender," Mokriakow said, "but that fact alone is not an apparent motive at this stage of the investigation."

At 9:26 p.m. Thursday, deputies from the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department received a call reporting a shooting and that someone was down in the roadway.

"The deputies went to the 100 block of Amelia Drive and located Harriel's body," Mokriakow said.

The area where the homicide occurred is in Parkfield Terrace, which is an unincorporated neighborhood between Centreville and Cahokia with a decades-long history of drug violence and other crime. The St. Clair County Sheriff's Department has primary responsibility for investigations and patrols of the area.

The officers on the Major Case Squad for this investigation are from Belleville, O'Fallon, Fairview Heights, Collinsville, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Granite City, Columbia, Cahokia, Madison County Sheriff's Department and Illinois State Police.

St. Clair County Sheriff Rick Watson requested the Major Case Squad's assistance.

Anyone with any information about this shooting is urged to call the Major Case Squad at 618-825-5200 or 618-825-5201.

Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.

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