Missing in America

Brothers Charged in Connection with Murder of Missouri Woman Monica Sykes

Monica Sykes Sykes Family

A man has been charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Missouri woman Monica Sykes.

Ray Ellis, 27, is being held on a $1 million bond on charges of second-degree murder, armed criminal action, and two counts of tampering with physical evidence in connection to Monica's disappearance and death.

Ellis, who family members say was involved in a relationship with Monica, is believed to have been the last person to see her before she disappeared in October. Her remains were found in February and positively identified last week.

Related: Remains Identified as Missing Missouri Woman Monica Sykes, Disappeared Last October

Ray Ellis Berkeley Police Department

According to court documents, Ellis confessed to shooting Monica and dragging her body into a field. Documents also reveal Ellis asked a witness how to burn up a vehicle. His white 2003 Cadillac Deville was found burning several days after Monica was last seen.

Ellis's brother, Jermaine Benjamin, 21, has also been charged in connection with the case for helping set fire to the vehicle, according to NBC affiliate KSDK. The station reports that authorities found a glove containing Benjamin's DNA near the torched car.

Monica was last seen by one of her nephews the morning of October 28, 2016. The 25-year-old, who lived with her sister and nephews in Berkeley, Missouri, reportedly came home that morning, changed clothes, and headed back out. The young boy told her family and police that he saw her get into a white vehicle with an unknown person. That person is now believed to have been Ellis.

Monica was featured in Dateline's Missing in America online article series shortly after she disappeared