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Bridgeton woman shot toddler then herself in murder-suicide, police say

Bridgeton woman shot toddler then herself in murder-suicide, police say


BRIDGETON — Police on Tuesday said they are talking with relatives of a Bridgeton woman to determine why she killed her 3-year-old daughter last weekend before turning the gun on herself.

The deaths of Kanisha "Kani" Richardson and her daughter Ava Richardson are being handled as a murder-suicide, according to Bridgeton police Maj. Mark A. Mossotti.

Kanisha Richardson and Ava Richardson,

Kanisha Richardson and her 3-year-old daughter, Ava Richardson, in an undated family photo.

The two were found dead in their parked vehicle Saturday in the 12100 block of Nottingham Lane in Bridgeton. The gun was in the vehicle, Mossotti said. Police haven't found a suicide note.

"Everything points to the murder-suicide," Mossotti said.

Richardson was 37 years old. Police originally reported Ava as being 2 years old but Mossotti said Tuesday that she was born in 2017 and would have turned 4 on Monday, two days after she died.

Friends and relatives released pink balloons in Ava's memory to mark her birthday.

Richardson and Ava were reported missing last Wednesday by a relative, Mossotti said. They were last seen two days earlier, on Jan. 11, Mossotti added. The Missouri Highway Patrol issued an endangered missing person advisory, saying that Richardson had made suicidal statements and was possibly armed with a gun.

Mossotti said the vehicle had been parked on a street near an apartment complex. Investigators aren't sure what, if any, connection Richardson had to the complex. She lived in the 11300 block of Hi Tower Drive in Bridgeton.

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