• Man held without bond after mother of 3 strangled at St. Augustine motel

    By: Brittney Donovan , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    A man is being held without bond after a mother of three was found strangled at a St. Augustine motel.

    Christopher William McCook, 38, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Keneshia Cymone Gadson, 29.

    McCook was arrested on Wednesday night, a day after deputies found Gadson dead at the Star Motel on S.R. 16.

    When deputies got to the hotel around 9:30 p.m., the desk clerk told them four children had been waiting in the lobby for Gadson for several hours.

    During that time, the clerk said the children went to the room to try to get Gadson to open the door to a room that was rented by McCook.

    The hotel gave the children juice and crackers and a deputy made a bottle for one child as a key was made to enter the room. When deputies went inside, they found two beds made and a pile of clothes on a piece of furniture, but it appeared no one was inside.

    They later found Gadson dead. A medical examiner determined she was strangled.

    Deputies found McCook at a nearby Dennys and he was arrested on Wednesday night.

    McCook told deputies that he paid Gadson for sex in the past after meeting her online. McCook said he arranged to have sex with her on Wednesday but left the motel after she never showed up.

    Surveillance video shows Gadson arriving at the motel just after 7 p.m.

    Video shows McCook's truck pulling out of the area after 8 p.m.

    McCook admitted to being at the hotel room from 7 to 8 p.m. but said he never met up with Gadson.

    He appeared in St. Johns County Court on Thursday on attempted murder charges.

    Family is raising money on a GoFundMe page for Gadson's three children.


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