Tanya Gould was shot to death, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff.
Confirming the fears of her friends and mother, Jefferson County Sheriff Dave Marshak announced today that a Cedar Hill woman was found dead in the home of a man who was killed over the weekend in a shootout with deputies
Tanya Gould, 31, was already dead of a gunshot when sheriff's SWAT team members went on the night of May 28 to serve a warrant at the home of Anthony Legens and was only discovered in the aftermath of the shootout, according to the sheriff's department.
Gould was described as "the most beautiful soul who lost her life to domestic abuse," by friend Daisha Lipp in a post on GoFundMe campaign
to raise money for Gould's mother, Cindy Gould.
Detectives had been searching for another man, 36-year-old Jerry Crew, who had been missing since mid-April. It's not clear why, but investigators had come to believe Crew had been killed.
COURTESY JEFFERSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
Jerry Crew was last seen on April 21.
Anticipating trouble at the house, deputies surveilled Legens' place for several hours before sending the SWAT team in to serve the search warrant. Marshak said at a news conference that the 36-year-old Legens, who has a long criminal record, opened fire on the SWAT team as soon as he saw them. For more than an hour, he and deputies shot back and forth, Marshak said.
Sheriff's deputy Zach Faulkner was hit in one exchange and rushed to the hospital. He underwent surgery. Marshak said today that Faulkner had been moved out of the intensive care unit and was awake but still was not able to eat.
Legens was eventually shot dead by deputies. When law enforcement officers were finally able to enter the house, they looked from crew but found Gould instead. Sheriff's spokesman Grant Bissell said in an email that Legens killed her well before the May 28 confrontation with the SWAT team. No one had heard from her since May 5, and she had been reported missing on May 9, according to Bissell.
In interviews with St. Louis television stations, Gould's mother Cindy Gould said her daughter had been in an abusive relationship with Legens. Even before Marshak's announcement today, she knew the dead woman found in the home was her daughter.
“This was a tragedy. It’s a ripple effect,” Cindy Gould told Fox 2
. “I pray that out all of this darkness and evilness that light and goodness will come out of it, and there will be help for domestic abuse victims to change laws, to help the mentally ill and their families.”
Lipp hoped to shift the focus away from the accused killer to Tanya Gould.
"This should not be a story of a monster," Lipp said in the GoFundMe post. "This is a story of a beautiful soul taken too soon. Tanya was murdered by a man she had made several attempts to escape from."
The post described Gould as the "family's backbone" during a series of recent tragedies, including the death of Gould's father and brother.
"Even through the unfortunate loss of her very dear loved ones over the years Tanya managed to stay so happy, so positive and so genuine," Lipp wrote. "I've honestly never met anyone like her."
Sheriff's detectives are still searching for Crew. They ask anyone with information to call them at 636-797-5515.
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