ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- A Poplar Bluff man is the primary suspect in the robbery and murder of a Drury Inn manager on Jan. 15.
Joseph B. Bowens, 43, was arrested by Poplar Bluff Police on Saturday at 3:41 p.m. after a traffic stop. He is being held in the Butler County Jail on two Poplar Bluff warrants and a Butler County warrant. There is a hold on Bowens from St. Louis police while the department applies for a first-degree murder warrant.
Bowens has several prior convictions involving narcotics, second-degree robbery, tampering, probation and parole violations and was indicted in federal court as a felon in possession of a firearm in 2009.
During a search of Bowens' home, police found articles of clothing and a leather jacket that matched the photos taken at the hotel. Police were also able to interview Bowens' mother who says she believes the man in the photos is her son and a historical GPS trace of his cell phone puts Bowens in the vicinity of Sulpher and Hampton at the time of the murder.
Bowens has been charged with two counts of armed criminal action, one count of murder in the first degree, and one count of robbery in the first degree,
Poplar Bluff Police Chief Danny Whiteley said the cooperation of multiple agencies was a "huge factor" in identifying and arresting Bowens.
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – Authorities are searching for a man seen in surveillance video pointing a gun at the manager of a southwest St. Louis Drury Inn & Suites moments before the manager was found dead of a gunshot wound.
According to police, the suspect came up to the hotel doors, which were locked, but was allowed in by 50-year-old Scott Knopfel, the overnight manager. The man then entered the hotel lobby and engaged in conversation with Knopfel, the hotel’s manager. The suspect showed a handgun and vaulted the counter.
Police say Knopfel and the suspect engaged in a struggle while the cash drawer was opening. The suspect then shot Knopfel in the head.
Following the shooting, the suspect put his gun back into his waistband and walked out of the hotel.
Police say the manager was pronounced dead at the scene.
Bart Sarcino, who owns Bartilino's, a restaurant attached to the hotel said his employees are in shock. Sarcino said the restaurant is reviewing its security measures.
The suspect is described as a black man in his 40s with a medium build. The suspect was wearing a Chicago Bulls ball cap, black or brown leather waist length coat, a black shirt with a white ‘Adidas’ logo across the front and khaki pants.
Anyone with information is urged to call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS. The Drury Inn is offering a $25,000 reward to anyone who has information that may lead to an arrest.