St. Paul homicide victim ID'd, suspect charged

Police say a man attacked and set a woman on fire, resulting in her death, before burning down his home on Tuesday.

St. Paul police were called to a report of someone on fire near the 1700 block of Wynne Avenue around 9 a.m. When they arrived at the scene they found an unconscious woman in her 40s suffering from burns - later identified by the Ramsey County medical examiner as Kelli R. Goodermont, 45, of Bloomington. Medics provided aid to the victim, but she died at the scene. It appears to have been a domestic homicide witnessed by many people who were there working at the time, according to police. 

Police quickly identified a suspect - later identified as Patrick Morris Simmons - also of Bloomington.

A suspect in a homicide in St. Paul had their house catch on fire Tuesday morning, according to Bloomington Fire officials. The suspect has since been apprehended.

Police say after Simmons killed his ex-girlfriend, he drove to his Bloomington home and set it on fire. 

Neighbors in the cul de sac where Simmons lived have known him for well over a decade, and say he struggled with mental health that had worsened recently. He reportedly often said the devil was in everything and everyone.

"He would read his bible every night and he would go around the house with certain smoke and try to know pray it away and he did rituals like that for many months," neighbor Nicholas Berg told FOX 9. "He just believed that it was constantly around him, it was in his house, it was in certain people and he was trying his best to keep it away and keep it out, but it seemed like he couldn’t get rid of it he tried his best."

Simmons was arrested and transported to the Bloomington Police Department for probable cause arson. He was later released from custody in Bloomington and transported to the St. Paul Police Department as part of an active homicide investigation. It has since been determined the two had a prior relationship. 

"I just know that this senseless act of violence will cause ripples of grief and pain to the victim's loved ones and family," said St. Paul Police Department Sgt. Natalie Davis, holding back tears during a press conference.

Suspect accused ex-girlfriend of being a ‘witch’ after murder

Criminal charges filed on Wednesday are shedding line on the horrifying circumstances of Tuesday's murder of Kelli Goodermont and the suspect's deranged claims he made to police after his arrest.

The criminal complaint states Simmons was arrested about a block away from his burning home. When police approached him, officers say Simmons shook their hands and apologized for the dried blood he had on him.

According to the charges, in a later interview, Simmons told investigators he had dated Goodermont for 11 years prior to the murder and she was the mother of his kids. Speaking with police, Simmons claimed Goodermont was a "witch" and made disturbing allegations that he thought his babies would be sacrificed to witchcraft.

In the charges, police said Simmons admitted to bringing a knife and gas from home, stabbing Goodermont six or seven times before dousing her in gasoline and setting her on fire.

Police say Simmons also claimed Goodermont had made a deal with the devil, adding he was concerned with paranormal activity.

A medical examiner's report showed Goodermont had been stabbed multiple times, in her face, neck, and left shoulder.

Simmons is charged with second-degree murder.