Crime

Man found dead in Cahokia is identified. Major Case Squad continues to investigate

Major Case Squad press conference on Cahokia murder

Capt. Bruce Fleshren of the Major Case Squad and St. Clair County Sheriff's Department said police are exploring several leads in the murder of a Cahokia, Illinois, man early Wednesday morning. The man died of a single gunshot wound.
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Capt. Bruce Fleshren of the Major Case Squad and St. Clair County Sheriff's Department said police are exploring several leads in the murder of a Cahokia, Illinois, man early Wednesday morning. The man died of a single gunshot wound.

The man found dead in his car in Cahokia early Wednesday morning has been identified.

St. Clair County Coroner Calvin Dye Sr. identified the victim as Mahir Smajic, 35, of St. Louis. Dye said Smajic was pronounced at the scene at 4:20 a.m.

The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis has been activated to investigate the death.

Around 3:30 a.m., Smajic’s body was found in a white SUV in front of a house at 785 Mildred Ave., Cahokia Police Capt. Dennis Plew said. At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, St. Clair County Sheriff’s Capt. Bruce Fleshren, deputy commander of the Major Case Squad, said that it appeared Smajic had been backing the car out of the house’s driveway.

Fleshren also said the man had been shot once.

The Major Case Squad has already developed leads and is interviewing witnesses who saw or heard gunshots at the time, Fleshren said. They do not have a suspect identified, however.

The crime was not random and police believe Smajic and his killer knew each other, Fleshren said.

“At this time, we’re still in the beginnings of the investigation, trying to determine what the victim was doing here in town, who he met with and who caused his death,” Fleshren said.

Fleshren said anyone with any information about this crime is urged to call the Cahokia Police Department at 618-332 4248.

Hana Muslic has been a public safety reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat since August 2018, covering everything from crime and courts to accidents, fires and natural disasters. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and her previous work can be found in The Lincoln Journal-Star and The Kansas City Star.
Carolyn P. Smith has worked for the Belleville News-Democrat for 18 years and currently covers breaking news in the Metro-East. She graduated from the Journalism School at the University of Missouri at Columbia and says news is in her DNA.
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