St. Peters police have taken over the investigation of a house fire where the bodies of a mother and her two children were found, but they are not expecting much new to emerge.
The area’s Major Case Squad, who along with police, were investigating the case since the fire on Thursday, June 9, has been deactivated. The case, however, remains under an active investigation, according to a statement from St. Peters police.
Officer Melissa Doss, a spokesperson for St. Peters police, said June 14 that city detectives are pulling together paper work and awaiting further test results in a few weeks. However, she said that authorities aren’t expecting new findings.
Autopsies on Jordie Hines, 10, and Jada Hines, 5, the two children found dead at the fire-damage house in the 1800 block of Elm Tree Street, showed that they died from drowning prior to the start of the fire. Their mother, Jenny Hines, 37, died from injuries resulting from the fire, which appears to have been intentionally set, according to the St. Peters police.
The Major Case Squad and St. Peters police believe Jenny Ayres played a role in the death of her children, the police statement said. Evidence suggests there is nothing to suggest any outside foul play, the statement adds.
The house was “secured” – meaning all doors were locked and dead bolted from the inside – when police and Central County Fire and Rescue District firefighters arrived about 6 p.m. on June 9. Jenny Ayres body was found near the back door where the fire started with a gas can nearby. The two children’s bodies were found submerged in a bathtub.
Doss said there have been some cases involving manslaughter in the city but no first degree murder cases recorded in the city since 2004.