Swansea police are releasing few details regarding the suspect they took into custody following the fatal stabbing of a woman at an apartment complex. The woman’s 9-year-old son was also stabbed three times including once in the neck. However, the boy underwent surgery and is doing better, according to police.
The boy told officers his mother’s boyfriend had stabbed him when they arrived at the apartment complex in the 200 block of Marcella Drive just after 6:30 p.m. Saturday night.
Swansea Police Chief Steve Johnson said officers were at the scene in under two minutes. Officers were met by a 9-year-old boy who had a severe stab wound. “(He) was bleeding from the neck profusely,” Johnson said.
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Officers also found the body of the boy’s mother Sharetta L. Day, 38, of Swansea, lying on the ground of the parking lot. She had multiple stab wounds. Johnson wouldn’t disclose precisely how many stab wounds she suffered. “It was numerous stab wounds,” he said during a news conference Sunday morning at Swansea Police Department.
An autopsy is scheduled to be performed on Monday.
The boy’s identity has not been released by police. He was airlifted to a St. Louis-area hospital Saturday night after being transported to Memorial Hospital in Belleville from the scene.
Johnson said the boy, who was in critical condition, underwent surgery and is resting comfortably.
“He seems to be doing much, much better,” Johnson said of the boy. “We are hoping this young individual has a full recovery.”
The boy was “so well-known and so well-liked” at his school, according to Johnson, that the principal of the school was at the hospital on Sunday. Johnson declined to release the name of school. Johnson said the boy has a large family who are also with him at the hospital.
Five family members spoke to Swansea police officers prior to the news conference on Sunday morning including Day’s mother who arrived with tissues in hand. Johnson said the family was too distraught to speak to media.
Police say the suspect barricaded himself inside the apartment on Saturday night. Swansea Police called for back-up from Belleville Police Department, St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit and members of Belleville’s Special Weapons and Tactic Team.
Prior to the SWAT team’s arrival, Swansea officers were able to get the suspect on the telephone. “(They) were able to talk him out peacefully and take him into custody,” Johnson said.
Police have not released the identity of the suspect pending formal charges. The suspect and Sharetta Day were in a relationship for a short period of time, according to Johnson.
He said Swansea detectives will present the case to St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly on Monday.
The suspect had a minor laceration, according to police, and was initially transported to Memorial Hospital for treatment. Upon his release from the hospital, the suspect was interviewed at Swansea Police Department, Johnson said, before being transported to St. Clair County Jail.
Kelly’s office issued a search warrant for the apartment on Marcella Drive. Johnson said police found “an extreme amount of blood on the sidewalk, parking lot, inside the living room — pretty much all over the house.”
Illinois State Police Crime Scene services responded to the scene and processed it for Swansea Police Department.
“This is an unusual occurrence in our town,” Johnson said. “We are confident we have in custody the only suspect in this heinous crime. Domestic types of crime can happen anywhere.”
Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call the Swansea Police Department at 618-233-8114.