28-year-old Timothy Michael Banowetz, of Wentzville, was charged on Monday, Jan. 6, for the murder of Randy Gori.
Gori was an attorney in Edwardsville, Il, where he gave back in great sums to his community.
In a statement to the press on Monday, Madison County Sheriff’s Office Captain Dave Vucich said, “In my 22-year career as a law enforcement official, I’ve seen a lot of gruesome cases, but this one elevates to the top of heinous and senseless crimes.”
He added that Gori’s actions during the attack likely saved his children.
“I think Randy was a hero in this case,” Vucich said.
Investigators believe that the murder was premeditated, but, at the time of reporting, were not aware of the connection between Banowetz and Gori.
The event occurred on Saturday, Jan. 4. Police responded to a call summoning them to Gori’s home in Edwardsville around 9 p.m. that night. Responding officers found him with multiple stab wounds.
Gori’s 2020 Rolls Royce Cullinan SUV had been stolen.
Roughly twelve hours later, a search team discovered Banowetz in a wooded area near Gori’s home.
The Rolls Royce was found nearby as well.
At the time of reporting, authorities had not yet commented on any known motive of attack, but did say that it is believed that he acted alone. Police also said that they believe the Banowetz has been living a “transient” lifestyle around the St. Louis area, with records indicating a recent eviction from his apartment.
Banowetz was charged with several counts of first-degree murder, armed robbery, vehicle theft and unlawful restraint. Unlawful restraint due to Banowetz holding two minors who were present at the time captive, before Gori intervened.