Waterloo stabbing death under investigation
A 27-year-old Waterloo man is dead following what is being described by police as a domestic incident that resulted in him being stabbed Thursday night by a 20-year-old man at 1123 Cottonwood Lane.
Now, investigators have the unenviable task of sorting through evidence, gathering witness statements and analyzing test results to determine if this was a case of self-defense, murder, or some gray area in between.
Waterloo police were called to the home shortly after 9:50 p.m. Thursday for a report of a stabbing inside the residence. Upon arrival, officers found a man who had been stabbed multiple times. An Illinois State Police crime scene unit processed the scene.
The victim, Eric M. Boyer, was later pronounced dead at a St. Louis area hospital. An autopsy was conducted Friday, Waterloo Police Chief Jim Trantham said.
Christofer J. Russell, 20, of Valmeyer, was taken into police custody at the scene of the stabbing and was held at the Monroe County Jail on a pending charge of aggravated battery.
He was released from jail Friday afternoon pending further investigation and an eventual determination on possible charges by Monroe County State’s Attorney Kris Reitz.
Russell has not been formally charged with any crime at this time.
“We have no autopsy or crime scene results back yet,” Trantham stressed on Monday night. “This is still very much a fluid investigation.”
Police have said that the female homeowner, Alicia (Pflueger) Pence, 26, and her two young sons were inside the home with Russell when an altercation occurred between Boyer and Russell.
Pence was transported by ambulance to St. Anthony’s Medical Center in St. Louis County for treatment of minor cuts to her hand suffered when she tried to get between the two fighting men.
The children, ages 1 and 3. were not injured, and were taken from the home by family members immediately following the incident, Trantham said.
Russell is the person who called 911, Trantham said, and Boyer is believed to have shown up at the home “looking to fight” Russell. Boyer may have had a baseball bat in his possession, he added.
During an impromptu news conference Sunday afternoon outside the Waterloo police station at City Hall, Boyer’s parents joined family members in a call for justice for their son.
“He was a good person,” said Boyer’s mother, Rejona Knobloch.
Boyer dated Pence “a couple of times,” Knobloch told local media, but was never serious about her as far as she knew.
“She told him she was dating another man, and he wished her good luck,” Knobloch said.
Boyer’s family and friends said Russell should be held accountable for his actions.
“(Eric) wouldn’t have went there alone if he was looking for a fight,” said his father, Bruce Boyer.
“This was senseless,” said Patti Boyer, Eric’s stepmother.
Trantham said Monday night he had spoken with members of Boyer’s family since that emotionally charged Sunday gathering and stressed to them that the case is still under investigation.
Attempts to reach Russell and his family for comment were unsuccessful.
This is not the first time police have been called to 1123 Cottonwood Lane. Alicia’s former husband, Garrett L. Pence, 34, was charged last September with felony aggravated battery involving a child following an Aug. 29 incident in which the 7-month-old son of Garrett and Alicia suffered injuries. Garrett’s case is pending.
Funeral services for Boyer, the father of two young daughters, took place Tuesday at Quernheim Funeral Home in Waterloo.