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Investigators still seek murderer of woman from St. Robert

Amanda Long says Laila Carpenter recently came to stay with her to get away from an abusive relationship.

July 18, 2013|by Linda Russell and photojournalist Robin Yancey, KY3 News | lrussell@ky3.com

St. ROBERT, Mo. -- Investigators are still looking for the shooter in a murder early Monday morning in St. Robert.  Laila Carpenter, 33, of St. Robert was shot to death at the Alpine Haus motel.

Amanda Long says she has known Laila Carpenter all her life, and her friend had recently come to stay with her at the Alpine Haus motel to get away from an abusive relationship.  She says Laila's death was senseless.

It happened around 6:45 Monday morning.  Long says she and her infant daughter were asleep. 

"All I heard was the door slam, and two sounds that sounded like fire crackers," said Long.

She woke to see Carpenter holding her throat, then fall to the floor. 

"I literally watched my friend drown and bleed to death on her own blood, and there was nothing that me or anybody else could have done," Long said.

She says Carpenter had been up during the night, texting and talking on the phone, arguing with multiple people, and another friend had been with Laila outside when the shooter arrived. 

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"A guy that supposedly had dreads, pulled out a gun and pointed it at him and tried to fire it.  The gun stalled, so they went and cocked it back again, and him and Laila tried to run into my room, and by the time they got there, they had already shot her," Long said.

Investigators from multiple agencies are working on the case, and have not released any suspect descriptions or names. 

"We're continuing to interview individuals that leads have led us to.  We're kind of in the process of trying to locate possible witness, and anyone who might have information on this, including, of course, those who are suspected of being the perpetrators," said Sgt. Dan Crain, a spokesman for Troop I of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Long is now grieving the senseless loss of her long-time friend. 

"She never seen the bad in nobody.  You could set there and threaten to beat her up, and then turn around and be like, I need your help.  And Laila would just like ignore everything else that you said and be like, I'll be right there," Long said.

She believes it was a bad relationship that led to this tragic end. 

"I honestly believe that the guy she was talking to was involved," Long said.

Long says Carpenter was a mother of three.  Crain says, while they have not been able to solve the case immediately, investigators from the multiple agencies involved believe they are making progress.

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