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Murder suspect appears in court

The man accused of murdering a woman in Palmyra Sept. 3, appeared in Marion County Court last Tuesday.

Raymond Gum, Jr.

During the court appearance before Associate Circuit Court Judge John Jackson, a preliminary hearing was set for Tuesday, Oct. 26, for Raymond Gum, Jr., 34, who is charged with first degree murder and armed criminal action in connection with the death of Crystal Cooper, 34, of Palmyra.

Gum continued to be held in the Marion County Jail in Palmyra on $1 million cash only bond.

Gum was arrested Sept. 4 in Petersberg, Ill., by deputies from the Menard County (Ill.) Sheriff’s Department the U.S. Marshal Service and other agencies at approximately 12:23 p.m., following a 24-hour manhunt.

Gum later waived extradition and was moved to Missouri to face charges.

Palmyra Police were initially notified for a medical call the morning of Sept. 3 in the 100 block of East Jefferson Street where Cooper’s body was found inside a parked vehicle.

A death investigation was initiated, also involving members of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department and Missouri State High Patrol.

Authorities subsequently began to search for the suspect who was believed to be armed and dangerous and in the Springfield, Ill. area.