Latest News

Police suspect robbery was the motive in murder of a Cahokia barber

Police suspect robbery was the motive for Melinda Graves to fire the bullet that killed Cahokia barber Jermaine Ross, according to a Cahokia Police Capt. Dennis Plew.

Ross, 47, was found in his home at 208 Elm St. in Cahokia on Wednesday afternoon by a friend, who was bringing someone to Ross’ home to have their hair cut, Plew said.

“When police arrived there, they found Jermaine Ross, who apparently had been there a few days,” Plew said at a press conference on Saturday morning.

Initially, Plew said officers believed Ross may have died of natural causes, but further investigation lead officers to become suspicious and during the autopsy, a bullet was recovered from Ross’ abdomen that had lodged near his heart. Major Case Squad was then activated to investigate the death.

Graves, 30, who listed an address at 518 St. Barbara in Cahokia, and another woman were taken into custody. Graves was charged. Police did not release the name of the other woman because she was not charged. The unidentified woman was a friend of Ross’, Plew said.

Ross was last seen on Saturday night around midnight, Plew said, in his backyard with friends. Those friends did not include Graves and the woman who was released.

Ross was a well-known barber in the area, Plew said. He had a shop in town until it burned down earlier this year. The fire and Ross’ death are not connected, Plew said.

This was not a random crime, Plew said, but targeted. Plew would not say what was taken in the robbery.

Graves, who also goes by the name Wysinger, does not appear to have any felonies in St. Clair County. She remains in St. Clair County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.