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Missionaries murdered in Haiti, now laid to rest in Missouri

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Missionaries murdered in Haiti, now laid to rest in Missouri


NEOSHO, Mo. – Christians across Missouri and around the nation continue to pray for Missouri Rep. Ben Baker and his family after his missionary daughter and son-in-law, Natalie and Davy Lloyd, were killed by gang violence in Haiti, May 23.

The bodies of the young missionary couple were transported from Haiti to the Kansas City airport and, on May 31, driven to Neosho. As they arrived in Neosho, hundreds of men, women and children stood along the roadside to honor the missionaries. They often held “their hands over their heart in love,” Rep. Baker, of Neosho, said in a Facebook post. It was a “true hero’s reception,” he added.

Rep. Ben Baker

“This community is amazing,” he wrote. “The outpouring of love and support is just overwhelming.”

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On Monday, June 3, nearly 2,000 people expressed their condolences during visitation services. Then family members and friends gathered for a memorial service the following morning. (Watch the memorial service, which took place at Bible Holiness Assembly of God Church in Neosho, here.

The missionary couple was laid to rest on Tuesday afternoon, June 4, during a private graveside service.

“We laid Davy & Natalie to rest yesterday,” Baker wrote on Facebook, June 5. “Thank you Lord for the time that we had with them. Heaven is getting sweeter by the moment.”

Baker’s post included a video, where he led family members and friends to sing the Gospel song, “That Sounds Like Home to Me.” (Watch the video here.)

Natalie, 21, was born on March 2, 2003, in Joplin, and she was a life-long resident of Neosho. Davy, 23, was born on July 3, 2000, in Tulsa, Okla. The couple were married at the Bible Holiness Assembly of God Church in Neosho on June 18, 2022. Then, in January of 2023, they became full-time missionaries, serving under Missions in Haiti, Inc.

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Missions in Haiti, Inc., was started in 2000 by Davy’s parents, David and Alicia Lloyd. “The organization operated a school, church, bakery, and shelters for children on a compound in the Bon Repos neighborhood on the side of Port-au-Prince,” according to a WORLD News Group report.

Natalie and Davy were shot to death alongside their colleague Jude Montis, 47, who was the director of the mission. Their deaths, according to Associated Press, “occurred as the capital (of Haiti) crumbles under the relentless assault of violent gangs that control 80 percent of Port-au-Prince.”

Rep. Baker first shared news of this tragedy in a Facebook post, late in the night on May 23: “My heart is broken in a thousand pieces,” he wrote. “I’ve never felt this kind of pain. Most of you know my daughter and son-in-law Davy and Natalie Lloyd are full time missionaries in Haiti. They were attacked by gangs this evening and were both killed. They went to Heaven together. Please pray for my family we desperately need strength. And please pray for the Lloyd family as well. I have no other words for now.”

On May 24, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson joined thousands on social media expressing their sorrow and promises of prayer.  “Absolutely heartbreaking news,” he said. “First Lady Teresa Parson and I extend our deepest condolences to Representative Ben Baker and Naomi, their family, and the Lloyd family. Natalie and Davy were two young people sharing peace, comfort, and God’s word. In light of this unimaginable, senseless tragedy, we remember the good they offered the world. Our prayers for all who loved them.”





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New Crime Lab Breaks Ground in Missouri – Correctional News

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New Crime Lab Breaks Ground in Missouri – Correctional News


By CN Staff

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo.—KAI 360 Construction Services is providing construction management services on a much-anticipated, new forensic crime lab in Jefferson County, with Hastings+Chivetta Architects serving as the architect of record. A groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility to be built on Mason Circle Drive in Pevely, Mo., was held on May 6, 2024.

When completed, the new 10,500-square-foot lab will adjoin an existing evidence storage facility on the site.

The $11.5 million facility will reduce the turnaround time for evidence testing for all of the county’s law enforcement agencies. For years, evidence collected in Jefferson County, located about 30 minutes south of St. Louis City, was shipped to the Missouri State Highway Patrol lab for testing, with turn-around-times for results ranging from several months to up to a year in some cases.

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Jefferson County’s new lab design includes areas for processing DNA evidence, vehicles, fingerprints, drug tests and firearms. A separate area will be designated for computer crime investigations. The lab is expected to be completed in 2025. K&S Associates Inc. is the general contractor on the project.

“Jefferson County continues to invest in public safety to make sure our citizens are safe, and with this new investment in the crime lab, we will now have the opportunity to prioritize cases from our own community,” said Jefferson County Sheriff Dave Marshak. “This single investment is not only important for the citizens of Jefferson County, but also for the St. Louis region, as we know criminals can traverse boundaries.”

KAI Enterprises is a national design and build firm providing delivery-oriented building solutions with a diverse portfolio of experience, in-house multi-discipline professionals, and expertise in both design and construction delivery. Founded in 1980, KAI has grown into one of the largest minority-owned firms in the AEC industry. For more than 40 years, KAI has aimed to transform communities through its expertise in residential, commercial, K-12, higher education, healthcare, science and technology, aviation, mobility, sports and entertainment, government, water and community-focused projects. KAI Enterprises is comprised of four distinct business units—KAI Design, KAI Engineering, KAI Build and KAI 360 Construction Services.

Hastings+Chivetta Architects is a national design firm that strives to create one-of-a-kind places that are forever evolving with time. For more than six decades, its team of architects, planners, and interior designers has been guided by a commitment to collaboration and unbridled creativity. Its areas of focus include municipal, government, higher education, K-12, and corporate markets for clients throughout the United States.

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Missouri judge rejects suit by interfaith clergy, including rabbis, that challenged abortion ban

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Missouri judge rejects suit by interfaith clergy, including rabbis, that challenged abortion ban


(JTA) – A Missouri judge upheld the state’s abortion ban Friday, rejecting efforts by a group of 14 interfaith clergy, including rabbis, who sought to protect reproductive rights by suing the state on religious freedom grounds.

The faith leaders, among them five rabbis from multiple Jewish denominations, filed their suit in January 2023. They charged that lawmakers who voted to ban nearly all abortions acted according to their personal religious beliefs, violating the separation of church and state enshrined in Missouri’s constitution.

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The so-called “trigger bill” went into effect after the Supreme Court removed federal abortion protections in 2022 in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. 

In his decision on Friday upholding Missouri’s ban, St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Jason Sengheiser argued that the language of the state’s abortion law is “similar” to the language of the state constitution, which also includes language like “Supreme Ruler of the Universe” and “Almighty God.” 

Sengheiser also noted that the bill paraphrases language famously found in the Declaration of Independence stating that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life.”

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The petitioners had argued in their lawsuit that the bill established its own religion. But Sengheiser wrote that the main argument of abortion opponents is not exclusively a religious belief. 

‘Human life begins at conception’

US Supreme Court front (credit: FLICKR)

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“The Court does not accept Petitioners’ argument that the determination that human life begins at conception is strictly a religious one,” Sengheiser wrote. “While the determination that life begins at conception may run counter to some religious beliefs it is not itself necessarily a religious belief.”

In a statement issued Friday, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, speaking on behalf of the clergy members, said they “respectfully” disagreed with the judge’s decision and would be discussing next steps with the faith leaders.

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“Missouri’s abortion ban is a direct attack on the separation of church and state, religious freedom and reproductive freedom,” Americans United said in their statement. “Missouri lawmakers made clear that they were imposing their personal religious beliefs on all Missourians when they enacted these laws.”

Jewish clergy nationwide – in Florida, Indiana and Kentucky as well as Missouri – have been fighting in court for reproductive rights since the Dobbs decision. Many have cited alleged religious freedom violations. An Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in April that the state’s religious liberty protections may extend to those seeking an abortion, but the case will likely go to the state Supreme Court for a final ruling.

Sengheiser’s decision was made the day after the US Supreme Court voted in favor of protecting federal access to medication abortion. 

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Missouri Auditor’s Office gets information needed to finish Kim Gardner audit – Missourinet

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Missouri Auditor’s Office gets information needed to finish Kim Gardner audit – Missourinet


After months of trying, the State Auditor’s Office has served a subpoena to former St. Louis prosecuting attorney Kim Gardner. The subpoena is in relation to an ongoing state audit of her administration that began under former State Auditor Nicole Galloway.

Gardner resigned last year after heaping caseloads, heavy staffing turnover, and a teenage athlete losing both legs in a St. Louis traffic crash by an armed robbery suspect who violated bond many times.

State Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick said his office has met with Gardner to finish the interview phase of the audit.

“That’s a big development for us,” Fitzpatrick told Missourinet. “It’s something that needed to happen, really for us to try to complete the field work in this audit that’s been going on since June of 2021. And now that that is done, we’re moving on to analyzing all the information we have so that we can begin drafting the report and try to get this thing wrapped up.”

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According to Fitzpatrick his office served a subpoena to St. Louis University for records about Gardner’s nursing school schedule and another subpoena intended for her.

“There’s a requirement in law that she, you know, that the circuit attorney in St Louis, spend their full time or dedicate their full time and efforts to the job of circuit attorney. And so, the concern was, if she was attending nursing school classes and clinicals during the times that she would otherwise be working, that she was potentially in violation of that,” he said.

Fitzpatrick said he hopes to have the audit wrapped up this year.

“We don’t anticipate needing to speak with her again,” he said. “At this point, we have all the records from (the) circuit attorney’s office that we have asked for. We’ve been able to speak with everybody we want to speak with.”

Gardner served as St. Louis Circuit Attorney from 2017 to 2023.

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