East St. Louis Mother Posts Chilling Facebook Warning Before Being Stabbed to Death

Categories: Crime

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Facebook
Michelle Rowling
When Michelle Rowling heard her abusive on-again-off-again boyfriend was being released from jail, she posted to Facebook a terrifyingly accurate warning:

"So if anything happens to me tonight, just let my kids know I loved them dearly and tell my momma I love her," she wrote online.

Update: The person of interest, Rowling's ex-boyfriend Montrell Cooper, surrendered to police Tuesday night.

Five days later, police found the 25-year-old mother stabbed to death in her East St. Louis, Illinois, apartment, adding a new level of horror her final Facebook premonition: "The police....LOL I'm [going to be] gone 'bout the time they come."

See also: Wife, 69, Charged in Stabbing Death of Ivan Mullenix, 76, in Town & Country

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Facebook
Police are still looking for Montrell Cooper, Rowling's ex and the father of one of her children, and officials are searching his abandoned SUV for evidence.

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East St. Louis Police
Montrell Cooper
"We want to catch this guy as quickly as we can," East St. Louis police chief Michael Floore tells the Belleville News-Democrat.

Rowling's shocking story appears to be an all-too-familiar narrative for victims of domestic violence: The abusing partner escalates the violence and isolation, finally lashing out lethally just as the victim tries to leave.

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Facebook
Michelle Rowling with her children.
Police say Cooper slit Rowling's throat and beat her up before, but the Illinois attorney's office couldn't lock him up when Rowling testified on his behalf and chose not to cooperate with law enforcement. He was released on probation the day she posted her warnings on Facebook.

"She wanted to be with him, but they weren't getting along, so she was trying to leave him," says Danielle Lane, a second cousin, to the News-Democrat. Lane last saw her cousin on Thanksgiving Day. "When I saw her, I told her she needed to get out of that relationship because that wasn't love."

Rowling's grandmother, Diane Simmons, is caring for her two children, but funeral costs are starting to mount.

"We are having a horrible time trying to get funds together to pay for her funeral," Simmons tells the News-Democrat. "She didn't have any insurance. I want young people to know they need insurance. Get insurance and leave a will."

Call the anonymous tip line with information about Cooper's whereabouts at 1-866-371-TIPS.

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

My Voice Nation Help
85 comments
prophetmazuzutemple
prophetmazuzutemple

i am sharing my testimony to everyone that has tried everything possible and had lost hope on how they can get their ex back, i want you all to know that their is one man called Dr. OILI that work for me and after 2days of his spell. my ex came back to me without any delay, i am really happy now that we are together again and we are living happily with so much love and respect for each other, so i will advise everyone to ask for this same man's help so that you can be happy again and make your dreams and wishes you have with your ex come true. via drodililovespell@gmail.com he can help you without any delay.

Grant Martin
Grant Martin

Yet another object lesson: You are the first line of your own defense.

Geno Lovette
Geno Lovette

My heart, an prayers, go out 2 Her moms & children! God bless & keep em, Amen. .

Kevin Rudroff
Kevin Rudroff

And I would almost bet my whole retirement that after this guy is found guilty and receives his punishment and after the waters settled for a while it'll pop up in the RFT news feed: "remember this guy who was released from jail and murdered his ex. Well he's getting married now. That's right folks after meeting a pen pal and making a connection through letters which turned into visits which eventually turned into love and conjugal visit, so and so will be marrying her this fri while he's still incarcerated in such and such penitentiary" any takers?

Kevin Rudroff
Kevin Rudroff

And don't play the obvious card of "oh you support the perpetrator" here because I think we should drop him in the middle of the ocean along with anyone like him. Send a message. Set a standard. Don't let these people keep murdering so they can learn how to be redeemed. Most of us don't have to take a life to learn that it's wrong to take a life no matter what background we came from.

Kevin Rudroff
Kevin Rudroff

I keep seeing this "planting seeds" quote as well. Well in order to do that you have to observe the actions of all people involved and, though it is unfortunate that the victim was murdered, the victim isn't necessarily innocent just because there the victim. There's alot of people post about domestic violence on here which says there's alot of people dealing with domestic violence out there. Most of us have elknown at least a few to go through it or gone thtough it ourselves. Domestic violence is wrong, but is also a blanket term. Those of us who have witnessed it have seen it takes many different shapes and their are many different variations and many different causes,It's not just as easy as "he used to beat her, then he killed her and there was nothing she could do about it, now lets go teach 4th graders this how to deal with this" Dare programs were taught in schools nation wide and now one of the biggest public interests in our day to day lives is legalizing pot. Point is stop babying people. Stop raising kids. Raise adults. Teach them at home against right and wrong and whatever actions they take in life they are responsible for.

Amy Scheve
Amy Scheve

What if she had no where else to go? She did have kids, who probably had school in the morning... What if she couldn't leave because she had to take them the next day? What if she didn't have a car to go anywhere else? Honestly I don't know if ANY of those are the case. I'm just saying your question is a good one, but there are MANY possible answers to that question. We, outsiders looking in, don't know the WHOLE story, nor should we. Lets just hope that the guy is caught so the rest of his family can sleep easy.

Cindy Haferkamp
Cindy Haferkamp

Ppl..educate yourself on domestic violence..if you dont know about it dont speak on it..none of us know what kind of hell she went through but I do know that some can relate..

Amy Scheve
Amy Scheve

I didn't say that line, but I can understand it. I left the guy before my child was born but it was still very difficult because you hear about how much a father means to a child (I know how much mine means to me) and I wanted my child to have a father. I finally realized that I wanted my child to have a GREAT father, which is why I was able to leave. BUT in leaving officially and COMPLETELY cutting off communication with the father, I had to give up child support because, by law if I wanted child support, the father would have rights to my child and I would have to see him when she saw him. So while a woman can no longer have a relationship with a guy who is the father of her child, if she is getting child support, she by law can not truly leave or completely cut him out of her life. So yes, it is hard to leave someone when you have a child connecting you unless you are fully prepared to truly be the ONLY parent FINANCIALLY (which most people cannot do, I only can through the love and support of my family, friends, and church).

Amy Scheve
Amy Scheve

That is why I'm not going after child support. See my previous statement for a bit of my story, about being date-raped and having a child by the guy. I won't go after child support because if I did, he would have rights to see and parent my child! A rapist! Who is 27 years old (dating at least 16 girls and boys at a time ranging in age between 14 and 40) and he would have rights to my baby if I asked for money! Yet, this is that poor woman's fault. She probably was getting child support so had to have contact with him because by law he has rights to see his child. Sickens me!

Amy Scheve
Amy Scheve

Start planting seeds in 4th grade... because that's when it really starts, reenforce with a class in 6th.

Blake Harris
Blake Harris

Shouldn't be too hard to leave someone who has already slit your throat once.. If he slashed you up, prolly doesn't love you.

Kevin Rudroff
Kevin Rudroff

Not to agree or disagree with anyone on here but none of you are experts, even if you happen to agree with each other. Who on this post knows anything about this case on a personal level? I don't condone murder like this at all,but if someone is afraid that they're life or the life of their child is in jeopardy you might want to do something beside make Facebook posts about. And why weren't these Facebook posts taken seriously till after the murder? And to the lady who said something on the lines of "it's hard to leave someone when you have a child connecting you". Really dude? Do you actually live in this world?

Mike Hampshire
Mike Hampshire

By the way I don't condone violence, but any guy who hits a girl deserves to get the shit kicked out of them.

Mike Hampshire
Mike Hampshire

Thank you Evette Generally Stanton, that was the point I was trying to make. People need to realize that they have to be responsible for their actions. Did She Deserve To die, No. Does he deserve it, yes. For people who have to use profanity to try and make a point shows how ignorant you really are.

Evette Generally Stanton
Evette Generally Stanton

Apparently she did have the law on her side but chose to protect him instead. She testified on HIS behalf last year and this year would not cooperate with officials. While I have deep empathy for what she went through and for what her family is now going through, I cannot overlook the absence of self preservation in her thought process.

Matt Stehman
Matt Stehman

I'm sorry, but if i felt i was in enough imminent danger to make a facebook post, I would probably be at a different address with my children and a weapon. Along with family or friends beside me with weapons and a phone for 911. Basic survival skills, intelligent decisions. Its sad that she was killed, and I hope the guy gets life without parole.

Heather McAfee
Heather McAfee

Mike Hampshire....she WAS doing something different this time....she was trying to leave him and move on without him. He wasn't having it and she paid for trying to better herself and protect her children. People are so quick to judge others...it ain't even your job to judge. I was in an abusive marriage and tried to leave several times. When I finally had to resort to a restraining order is when my ex-husband kidnapped my 8 year old son and I and raped me in front of him. He was sentenced to 162 years in prison.....but I WAS THE LUCKY ONE. Ms Rowling wasnt. So for all of you that have ignorant comments about domestic violence/abuse....go fuck yourselves.

Courtney Ringle
Courtney Ringle

Never pay attention to Steve Mincer. he never has anything positive to say. and usually whatever he does say is a load of bullshit anyway.

Liz Ramsey
Liz Ramsey

Haha, guys, don't give in to Mincer's bullshit. He loves to provoke people. I guarantee you its his biggest thrill in life. This woman, may she rest in peace, had more heart and beauty in her last day then he will have ever have in his entire life. I feel sorry for him, really.. that he feels the need to disrespect the dead and comment on everything.

Tanisha Gully
Tanisha Gully

Thats so sad...R.I.P God will watch over ur babies

Mike Hampshire
Mike Hampshire

It's sad she died but stupidity is stupidity. Doing something repeatedly, the same way, and expecting a different outcome is the definition of stupidity. I'm also tired of everyone saying the school should teach this and that. Parents need to step up and do their job. Everyone needs to grow up and be held accountable for their actions.

Eric Farlow
Eric Farlow

Mincer is a notoriously xenophobic & homophobic old bigot that thinks he's edgy by posting contrarian nonsense in every story RFT links that has anything to do with people of color. He's the poor man's anne coulter, best to just ignore him.

Phyllis Johnson Fisher
Phyllis Johnson Fisher

So sad, very tragic. They shared a son, it's not like she would never have to see him again. To end an abusive relationship is just as scary as being in one! A person who is abusive will most likely become more abusive when you try to take control & end it. We need to teach kids {should be mandatory class 6th grade} the signs of a "bad" relationship. 0 tolerance for disrespecting others!!

Jean Whitney
Jean Whitney

Not really "horrifying" More like an abomination that it was not prevented under the law

Blake Harris
Blake Harris

Guess she shouldn't have testified on his behalf if she wanted him to not murder her.

Justin Curia
Justin Curia

mincer isn't aware that people have psychological issues from birth, environment, and other things out of their control, that cause them to do things that some would consider not smart. that knowledge would force him to be empathetic to people, which obviously can't/won't happen.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

and umm...i'm done with this thread. i'm bored with it. and you should be too.

Heather McAfee
Heather McAfee

Shame on you Steve Mincer....I hope you never have to deal with tragedy in your perfect little world.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

you must have missed the part where it said "her abusive on-and-off-again boyfriend was being released from jail.". no conclusions jumped to. other than you're kind of a moron.

Chris Ward
Chris Ward

Steve, if jumping to conclusions were an Olympic sport, you just took the fucking gold.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

actually, no. i didn't say she chose to get stabbed (because i clearly didn't), but i am saying you seem like a crackpot because you're still commenting on this.

Sarah Jane
Sarah Jane

so you're saying she chose to be stabbed to death and leave her kids with no mother? okay, if you say so

Sarah Jane
Sarah Jane

so she should leave her house instead of him, idk, NOT killing her???? she didn't go after him, he came after her. she's not at fault here. be for real... and where was she supposed to go?? do you think he would not have shown up at her mother's doorstep and done the same thing?

Lisa Lanasa
Lisa Lanasa

who was there to protect her,there has to be some changes made in the law!

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

every single news story? EVERY single one, lynn? i comment on EVERY single news story? every one? now...if you knew that i commented on EVERY single news story...that would mean that YOU spend WAY more time on facebook than i do.

Charles James
Charles James

Sad! Rather be judged bu 12 than carried by six!!!!

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

" I am sure she did not choose him over her kids". huh...you must have missed the part where he stabbed her to death.

Sarah Jane
Sarah Jane

I am sure she did not choose him over her kids, unfortunately, some would try and keep the peace with someone who is abusive because of just that, they're abusive, especially when they have children together. you want to believe the father (or mother) of your children is actually a good person who can and will change. She obviously tried to exit the relationship several times. If I had to make an educated guess, I'd say he forcibly entered her home and murdered her without her having any "decision" in the matter.

Kristen Lavin
Kristen Lavin

You're right Lynn Pevey, which is precisely why I've let it go :) you can't fix stupid, so there's no sense in trying to argue with someone who just doesn't care to see the other side.

Lynn Pevey
Lynn Pevey

Kristen & Chris, Steve Mincer is a troll. He likes to comment on every single news story that comes down the pipeline because he has nothing better to do with his life than to act a fool and make stupid comments about things he has no idea about nor could he even fathom since he lives in the virtual world of FB instead of living in reality. So ignore the dumbass and don't let him rile you up as he likes to do to so many people. He's a moron with no common sense in his tiny pea-sized brain.

Steve Kuchera
Steve Kuchera

Today I sharted Thought I had farted My anus was guarded But the feces departed I tried to hold it, but the turds, they outsmarted I shit my pants, God I’m retarded

Richard Hughes
Richard Hughes

Wow I can't believe the "men" who are blaming the victim here !!! I would assume her decisions were what she thought best for her safety . Tragically they were not . Blaming a victim for the actions of some violent wack job is disgusting to anyone with an ounce of decency and common sense !

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