Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Couple Beats Grandmother for Money, Goes on the Run, Gets Busted by Facebook: Police

Posted By on Mon, Feb 3, 2014 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge Jennifer Coleman and Mark Kerpash. - LINCOLN COUNTY SHERIFF

Police credit Facebook for the arrest of a couple on the run for three days after beating an 87-year-old woman until she wrote them a $500 check.

Mark Kerpash, 28, of Hawk Point, Mo., faces four felony charges after assaulting his grandmother and threatening to kill her until she gave him money, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.

Kerpash's grandmother is in the hospital with a broken pelvis.

See also: Police: Four Arrested, Child Rescued from Cahokia Meth Lab

click to enlarge Coleman's alias is Kelli. - LINCOLN COUNTY SHERIFF
  • Lincoln County Sheriff
  • Coleman's alias is Kelli.

The sheriff's office went to arrest Kerpash, but he'd already bolted, so deputies posted his name, photo and description on Facebook. When they realized his girlfriend, Jennifer "Kelli" Coleman, 27, of Fulton, was helping him, they posted her photo, too.

The photos were shared hundreds of times, and residents of Lincoln County flooded the Facebook page with tips. The couple was looking for a ride out of the county, tipsters said.

"Kerpash's desperation to leave Lincoln County was evident when he started accepting help from social media acquaintances who were not considered actual friends," says Sheriff John Cottle. "If it was not for the help and trust of our citizens, I do not believe we would have apprehended Kerpash as fast as we did."

Police arrested the couple late Wednesday night, crediting connections through social media.

"I can't thank the citizens enough, along with the men and women of the sheriff's office, for their tireless efforts and persistence in this case," Cottle posted on Facebook. "The community was just as appalled with Kerpash's crime and wanted to answer for it as badly as we did."

See also: Mizzou Receiver Dorial Green-Beckham Arrested with Pound of Marijuana, Released

Kerpash and Coleman are both in jail booked on first-degree elder abuse, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and financial exploitation of an elderly person. Kerpash is held without bond, and Coleman's bond is $500,000 cash-only.

Kerpash was violating his parole when he was arrested. His rap sheet stretches back twelve years with convictions for trespassing, resisting arrest, property damage, marijuana possession, driving while intoxicated, driving with a suspended license and assault. He also had two orders of protection filed against him in 2004 and 2006, according to court documents.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at

Tags: ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 24, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation