St. Charles County, MO (KTRS) DNA is credited with leading investigators to a suspect in the 1993 murder of 9-year-old Angie Housman.
St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar announced on Wednesday afternoon that 61-year-old Earl Webster Cox has been charged on several counts, including first-degree murder in the kidnapping, rape, and killing of 9-year-old Angie Housman. Lohmar said DNA recently discovered on pieces of Angie’s underwear led to investigators to Cox, who is currently a patient in a federal medical facility in North Carolina.
“Cox was initially identified through CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) and his DNA was collected at his consent and it was retested. Cox was the major contributor of the DNA at the location tested.” Lohmar explained.
Cox, who grew up in the St. Louis area, has prior convictions for child sex abuse and for running an international child porn internet ring.
Lohmar also said more arrests could be made and that Ron Bone, Angie’s stepfather, can’t be eliminated as a person of interest.
“We have reason to believe that Earl W. Cox was not the only suspect involved in this case. We do believe that it’s very possible another person was involved.” Lohmar said.
“I anticipate as do our investigators that we’re going to get several more leads that might draw a connection to Earl Cox and someone close to Angie.” Lohmar added.
Angie’s Angel’s, a group of mothers who have been on a mission to bring renewed attention to the case, said they were ecstatic when they learned that a suspect was charged. Debbie Klingler, Trisha Trout, and Amy Bittner have been involved in their own detective work in the case as well as organizing vigils to honor the St. Ann girl.
Cox has a long criminal history of sexual offenses. In 1975, he enlisted in the US Air Force. In 1982, he was dishonorably discharged due to multiple sex offenses involving four juveniles while stationed in Germany. This resulted in Cox being court-martialed and sentenced to 8 years in Leavenworth Penitentiary. In 1985, Cox was released from prison.
He transferred his parole to Missouri and moved in with family in Breckenridge Hills. His family lived about a quarter-mile from where Angie was abducted after getting off of the school bus on November 18,1993.
In October 1989, Cox was investigated in Overland for sexual abuse of two girls. He was not charged, but because of his arrest, his parole was revoked and he was returned to federal custody. He was released in 1992, less than a year before Angie’s murder.
In the mid 1990’s, Cox moved to Colorado. In 2003, Cox was arrested for setting up a meeting with a 14-year-old girl, who turned out to be an undercover federal agent. Upon his arrest, investigators found thousands of child pornography images on his computer and learned that he led an international online child pornography ring known as the “Shadowz Brotherhood.” This resulted into the arrest of about 60 people in 11 countries. Cox was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Prior to his scheduled for release in 2011, Cox was certified as a sexually dangerous person. This allowed authorities to keep him incarcerated because he was considered likely to re-offend.
Lohmar said Cox is likely to be extradited to the St. Louis-area in the next couple of weeks.