Sylvia Brown Killed Her Sister Rather Than Admit Debt, St. Louis County Police Say


Sylvia Brown has been charged with murdering her sister. - COURTESY ST. LOUIS COUNTY POLICE
  • Sylvia Brown has been charged with murdering her sister.

A north St. Louis County woman killed her sister to hide her money problems, police say.

Sylvia Brown, 57, was charged today with first-degree murder and armed criminal action. She was originally reported missing after St. Louis County police were asked to check on the well-being of the resident of 2519 Dukeland Drive, which sits in an unincorporated part of the county east of Florissant.

Officers found 59-year-old Brenda Brown's lifeless body, but they weren't sure where her younger sister, Sylvia Brown, had gone.

She was later arrested and charged in the killing, police announced today. According to a probable cause statement, Sylvia Brown said she had been planning the murder for a long time — apparently because she was in debt and didn't want her older sister to find out.

She was jailed on a $500,000 cash-only bond.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.

  • Sign up for our weekly newsletters to get the latest on the news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.
  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.