By Stephanie Malench
Leslie Reeves, owner of All You Studio and Party Place in Troy was murdered in Farmersville on Thanksgiving Day.
A welfare check and possible death was called into the 911 office in Montgomery County at 12:42 on Thanksgiving Day for Nobbie St. in Farmersville. In addition to Reeves, 48-year old Christopher J. Smith was also found shot, but still alive. Coroners pronounced Reeves dead at the scene and Smith was taken to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield with critical injuries.
Chief Deputy Bruce Sanford of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department reported evidence at the scene indicated they were both shot in the residence.
Upon investigation, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office identified Robert J. Tarr (age 48 of Collinsville, Illinois) to be a person of interest, as he had a previous dating relationship with Reeves.
On November 26, 2021, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputies located Tarr at his residence in Collinsville. With the assistance of the Montgomery County State’s Attorney, Andrew Affrunti, a search warrant was obtained and executed at Tarr‘s residence. The Collinsville Police Department, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and the Illinois State Police Crime Scene Services assisted. Tarr was detained on suspicion of First Degree Murder and transported to the Montgomery County Jail, where his initial bond was set at $2,000,000.00.
Formal charges of First Degree Murder and Attempt First Degree Murder are expected to be filed when Tarr appears in Circuit Court for arraignment on November 30, 2021.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the Illinois State Police and the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office are continuing the investigation.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; each defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
Reeves, 45, was also a self-defense instructor and public speaker on women’s safety. Dr. Heidi Brocke, a toxic relationship awareness and healing specialist from St. Jacob who works with individuals trying to leave abusive relationships posted on her Facebook page after learning of her friend’s death, “I have worked with her on several occasions professionally, she was a keynote speaker at my conferences, she was hilarious, always had the funniest posts on Facebook, cared about everyone, and 100% passionate about keeping the women around her safe”.
Reeves leaves behind two children.