The start of a new year is meant to bring resolutions, new starts and a clean slate.
For E.J., it brought a tragic end.
Now, the man who robbed a little boy of his mother has been found guilty for her murder.
On January 2, 2013, E.J. and her four-month-old son left their home in Oklahoma to visit family in the St. Louis area.
That night, she met up with Dyanthany Proudie, a man with whom she had previously had a relationship. The two went out to dinner and then returned to the apartment where Proudie was staying.
Proudie then arranged to be alone with E.J., witnesses said.
Moments later, witnesses heard one gunshot.
Proudie instructed the others in the apartment to clean up the gruesome scene, telling them to use bleach on the affected areas. They painted walls and even replaced flooring over the next few days.
E.J's family, though, soon grew worried. They hadn't heard from her and couldn't reach her on her phone.
On January 4, there was a break in the case: E.J.'s four-month-old son was found alone in an apartment complex. Police released his photo to the public and an all-out man hunt began to find out what happened to the baby's mother.
On January 8, police learned the worst: E.J.'s body was found stuffed into the trunk of her car. She had been shot in the head.
Last week, Assistant Circuit Attorneys Tanja Engelhardt and Kristyn Skelly presented the case in court. Jurors heard testimony from witnesses, police officers and others. Despite the aggressive defense strategy to pin the crime on someone else, the jury found Proudie guilty of first-degree murder and armed criminal action.
He is scheduled to be sentenced December 5th. By law, he faces life in prison without the possibility of probation or parole.