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Missouri Woman Couldn’t Afford A Divorce, So Police Say She Shot Her Husband As He Slept Instead

Melanie Biggins told police that an intruder had broken into her home and shot her husband, Etienne L. McEwan, as he slept in their bed, but authorities say they later recovered a handgun that had been bought by Biggins in July. 

By Jill Sederstrom
Wives Who Brutally Killed

A Missouri woman has been accused of shooting her husband as he slept in the couple’s bed and then trying to pin the shooting on an alleged intruder.

Melanie Biggins, 40, is now facing charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action after her husband of 9 years, Etienne L. McEwan, was discovered in the early morning hours of Aug. 31 in a pool of blood, according to a probable cause statement obtained by Oxygen.com.

Kansas City Missouri Police officers arrived at the couple’s home around 1 a.m. and discovered Biggins in an upstairs bedroom performing CPR on McEwan, who was still laying in the couple’s bed. He was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.

Biggins initially told officers that she had woken up to the sound of a gunshot and noticed that her husband had been shot but “did not see who did it,” according to the court records.

She said she went downstairs and found the front door of the home open.

Her two children also told authorities they found their mother downstairs after hearing a gunshot, but said they found her sitting on a couch looking as though she “had seen a ghost.”

A police handout of Melanie Biggins

One of the children walked back upstairs and went into the master bedroom, followed closely by Biggins and the second child.

“As she approached her parent’s room, she turned the hallway light on and began calling the victim’s name but there was no response,” police wrote.

The child turned on the lamp, saw her father lying in a pool of blood and rushed out of the room to call 911. The child handed the phone to Biggins, who was instructed to perform CPR.

Investigators began to question Biggins’ intruder theory after discovering a pillow on the floor at the foot of the bed with what looked like blood and a hole through it. A projectile from a gun was located in the stuffing of the pillow, authorities said.

Crime scene technicians also found a blanket on the floor with “apparent gunpowder burns” around a hole that had torn through the fabric.

They found an empty case for a Charter Arms .38 Special on the top shelf of the master bedroom closet and recovered a .38 special hidden underneath a bunk bed in a nearby room, according to the probable cause statement. The gun had one spent shell casing still inside the cylinder of the weapon in the top position.

Investigators also found no signs of forced entry.

Once at the station, Biggins allegedly revised her story, insisting that while she had been asleep in the bed when her husband as shot, she never left the bedroom, despite her earlier statement to police and the witness accounts from both of her children.

She told detectives that after hearing the loud gunshot, she woke up to find “blood on her arm,” crawled over to her husband and then turned him onto his back to find a gunshot wound under his chin near his neck.

She initially said, according to the court documents, that the only firearm in the house was her husband’s rifle. She denied any knowledge of the handgun. However, once she was confronted about purchasing the weapon, she did admit to buying the gun in July of 2022, but said she could not explain how the gun got under the bunk bed in another room, authorities alleged.

Police also probed Biggins’ about the status of her relationship. She allegedly told police that she had been carrying on an affair with another man for a year and a half and wanted to divorce her husband, but she couldn’t afford to due to their “financial struggles.”

Authorities concluded that they had enough evidence to arrest Biggins. She’s currently being held in the Jackson County jail, according to jail records. It's not clear if she's obtained a lawyer to speak on her behalf.

Oxygen.com reached out to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, who declined to release any additional details about the case.