Murder leaves Bonne Terre residents concerned

Melvin Scherrer is alleged to have murdered Samuel Francis.

The small eastern Missouri town of Bonne Terre is struggling to come to grips with a particularly grisly killing.

Authorities on July 25 discovered the remains of 38-year-old Samuel "Tick" Francis in a septic tank. The tattoo artist from Cape Girardeau had been missing since December.

Melvin Scherrer of Bonne Terre is charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action and other counts. Police believe he beat Francis with a baseball bat, taped his hands behind his back, wrapped his head in tape and took Francis from his home while the victim was still alive.

Francis' relatives have said they suspect involvement of a motorcycle gang.

Residents of Bonne Terre told the Southeast Missourian that it is concerning to think something so sinister could happen in their town.