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Gardner: Not enough evidence to charge suspected child killer

DOWNTOWN – St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner says there isn’t enough evidence to charge the man police believe killed 7-year-old Xavier Usanga. The revelation comes despite reports that the suspect, Malik Ross, confessed to federal authorities that he had shot the child.

Ross is being held on federal charges in connection with an armored car robbery.

Gardner said in a statement Thursday that “snippets” of information had been made public, and she put the word “confession” in quotes when referring to reports that Ross had admitted to shooting Xavier.

“Unfortunately, the release of snippets of information (true and untrue) regarding the investigation has made the search for the truth a lot more difficult,” Gardner said in that statement. “In addition, Missouri’s current gun and self-defense laws make us all less safe and hinder law enforcement’s ability to hold people accountable in this and so many other cases.”

She said a “team of career prosecutors” had determined that they needed more evidence before charges could be filed. She is asking anyone with any details about the case to contact CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous.

George Sells

george.sells@metrostlcom.wpcomstaging.com George Sells is an Emmy Award-winning journalist with more than 25 years of experience in news. He has spent the last decade on the St. Louis media scene, working for KTVI Fox 2, HEC Media, and more recently as a host for KMOX Radio. His wife of twenty years, Julie, was born and raised in St. Louis. They have two kids and a dog.

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