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Man Responsible for Deaths of Two South American Researchers Killed Himself and Mom of Five Just Weeks Later, Missouri Prosecutors Say

Camila Behrensen and Pablo Guzman-Palma via Stowers Institute

Camila Behrensen and Pablo Guzman-Palma via Stowers Institute

A 42-year-old man who killed a mother of five in an apparent murder-suicide is also responsible for killing two South American researchers in Missouri earlier this month, authorities say.

The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday announced that Kevin Ray Moore caused the deaths of 24-year-old Camila Behrensen and 25-year-old Pablo Guzman-Palma approximately two weeks before he took his own life on Oct. 16.

Behrensen of Buenos Aires, Argentina and Guzman-Palma of Santiago, Chile were both predoctoral researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City. Their bodies were discovered in the rubble of their apartment building located in the 4100 block of Oak Street near the biomedical research center, which burned down on Oct. 1.

Prosecutors say that Moore killed the two young researchers before intentionally setting fire to the apartment they shared.

“Due to the efforts of [the Kansas City Police Department] and, in particular, the Crime Lab, KCPD used phone and computer data, surveillance videos, ballistic testing as well as DNA tests to determine the cause of the deaths of Behrensen and Guzman-Palma and to determine that Moore was the suspect,” the prosecutor’s office said in a press release.

A search warrant obtained by KSHB-TV reportedly revealed that both victims were fatally shot before Moore allegedly set fire to the apartment in an effort to cover-up the killings.

According to the report, investigators filed the search warrant in order to get the data from an Amazon Alexa device the researchers had in their apartment.

“They believe the suspect may have been inside the apartment with Behrensen and Guzman-Palma for several hours, according to the search warrant. This includes before and after the victims’ death,” the report states. “In the filing, investigators say the Alexa device may have captured conversations between the suspect and the victims.”

Authorities have not formally confirmed the cause of death or a possible motive for the killings.

Approximately two weeks after the bodies of Behrensen and Guzman-Palma were discovered, authorities in Clay County reportedly found the body of 40-year-old Misty Brockman. Brockman was fatally shot inside of a car parked in a wooded area in Northland. Moore’s body was also in the vehicle in what authorities described as a murder-suicide.

Misty Brockman via GoFundMe

Misty Brockman via GoFundMe

KCPD officers at approximately 2 p.m. on Oct. 16 reportedly responded to a “medical nature unknown” call at N.E. 48th Street and Randolph Road. Upon arriving at the scene, first responders were reportedly “flagged down” by several people who directed the officers to a vehicle parked in the woods. There, police reportedly discovered the two victims “suffering from apparent trauma.” They were both reportedly pronounced dead on the scene.

Authorities have not released any details regarding a possible motive.

A GoFundMe page was started on behalf of Brockman, with all of the proceeds going to her five young sons.

The Graduate School of the Stowers Institute and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research released the following statement on the killings:

“We are devastated by the tragic deaths of two of our predoctoral researchers. These researchers were members of our 2020 class and vibrant members of our Stowers Institute community.

“Our deepest sympathies are with their families. During this difficult time, and most importantly, out of respect to the two families, we want to honor and remember the joy, optimism, and exceptional work these two individuals embodied and all that they have accomplished.”

A barebones obituary, which appears to include the lone available image of the suspect, says that Moore “passed away” on Oct. 16. At the time of this writing, only the funeral home had expressed condolences.

[Images via Stowers Institute and GoFundMe]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.