EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: ST. LOUIS – The 2020 death of a Missouri woman whose firefighter fiance told police she shot herself in the head is considered “suspicious” and remains under active investigation, St. Louis area police say – amid renewed attention following the death of a second girlfriend in his home earlier this month.
Creve Coeur police found Grace Holland, 35, dead with a single gunshot wound to the head in the home of firefighter Robert Daus on July 22, 2020.
Creve Coeur investigators viewed the fatal shot as self-inflicted, and the county medical examiner determined Holland’s death a suicide. St. Louis County police were asked to review the incident after local investigators declared the case closed despite what her family believes is evidence of foul play.
In 2022 Creve Coeur Police Chief Jeff Hartman asked the county to conduct the review.
“This case was ruled a suicide by the Medical Examiner’s office long before we became involved,” Sgt. Tracy Panus, the department’s public information officer, told Fox News Digital. “At the conclusion of our investigation, as with every other death investigation, we never made a determination of the manner of death. This ruling is solely the responsibility of the Medical Examiner.”
County investigators sent their findings to the prosecuting attorney’s office in early December.
“At this point, the case is still classified as a suspicious death and remains active,” Panus said. “It will be incumbent upon the prosecutor’s office to decide if any further action is required or if any criminal charges will be filed.”
A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Fox News Digital.
Holland was a mother of four. Her death received renewed public scrutiny last week after a second woman died in her former fiance’s home. The police update comes as Daus has been spotted for the first time since the death of Dr. Sarah Sweeney, a 39-year-old podiatrist, who was found dead around 6:40 a.m. on Jan. 13.
Police said her remains showed no obvious signs of trauma.
Her “sudden death” is under active investigation, Frontenac Police Cpl. Tim Duda told Fox News Digital. County police were not involved in that investigation as of Tuesday.
Her autopsy and toxicology results are expected within the next two to four weeks.
Both women were romantically involved with Daus, a captain in the Maryland Heights Fire District who placed 911 calls reporting both deaths.
Daus has not been named a suspect or charged with a crime in connection with either death.
Holland’s family named him in a wrongful death lawsuit and rejected the medical examiner’s ruling of her death as a suicide.
According to the lawsuit, she was right-handed and the gunshot to her left temple strikes them as suspicious, as does the alleged disappearance of her $20,000 engagement ring.
Anyone with information on Holland’s death can contact St. Louis County Police at 314-615-5400. The investigation into Sweeney’s death is being handled by the Frontenac Police Department, reachable at 314-373-6509.
Hartman last week urged against speculation in both cases as the autopsy in Sweeney’s death is not yet available.
“If the investigation rules she [died] as a result of a homicide, her death should be fully investigated as such, and I pray the person responsible is held accountable,” he told Fox News Digital. “I would also expect increased scrutiny on the Creve Coeur case as a result. However, we have not received the ruling on the cause of death for Sarah yet.”