Toddler was alone with mother’s body after she was shot, police say

Catherine Jackson, 29, was found dead Thursday in her East St. Louis home.
Catherine Jackson, 29, was found dead Thursday in her East St. Louis home. Provided

The toddler son of a murdered woman was alone in the house with her body before she was found, according to police.

Catherine Jackson, 29, of East St. Louis was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds in her home on Thursday evening. Jackson was mother of four children and was eight months pregnant with another child when she was killed, according to her sister, Chanda Meeks.

The two older children were with Meeks when Jackson was killed, and a younger child lives with the father, Meeks said. But Jackson’s 1-year-old son was with her when she died, Meeks said.

East St. Louis Police Chief Jerry Simon confirmed that the toddler was wandering around the house, which is located in the 600 block of North Ninth Street, when police arrived at 2 p.m. They had been summoned by the landlord, who found Jackson’s body and called 911, Simon said.

No one is in custody, and there are no known witnesses, Simon said.

east st louis scene
East St. Louis police and Illinois State Police were investing a homicide Thursday in the 600 block of North Ninth Street in East St. Louis. The victim was 29-year-old Catherine Jackson, whose 1-year-old son was home with her at the time of the shooting. Kara Berg

Meeks said the children were not handling their loss well — grieving, crying and not eating. She said the two older children have been removed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to be returned to their father. The toddler is staying with Meeks for now.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald