- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 20, 2003

ST. LOUIS (AP) The host of St. Louis radio's top-rated morning news show was found fatally shot in her home, and her husband was charged yesterday with first-degree murder.
Nan Wyatt, 44, was found Tuesday evening in a bedroom of her home in the suburb of Twin Oaks. Police said she had been shot several times with a .357-caliber Magnum pistol.
Thomas Erbland, 43, was jailed without bail.
Police said that the couple had marital problems but officers had never been called to the home.
"The relationship was deteriorating," St. Louis County Police Lt. Jon Belmar said.
The couple's 7-year-old son was home at the time of the shooting but was not injured. Afterward, Mr. Erbland dropped the boy off at the home of Mrs. Wyatt's parents, then called them to say something had happened.
He was picked up at a store as he tried to locate a police station to turn himself in, Lt. Belmar said.
Since 1996, Mrs. Wyatt had hosted the "Total Information A.M." program on KMOX, the city's top rated morning-drive-time radio news show. She was known for her in-depth political reporting and had won several awards, including the National Associated Press Award for Enterprise Reporting.
Patty Wente, general manager at KWMU radio and a close friend, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that she believed Mrs. Wyatt had filed for divorce in December.
"She had been going through a lot," Miss Wente said. "It had been a long haul."
Yesterday morning, the station paid tribute to Mrs. Wyatt as calls poured in, ranging from those by high-profile politicians to longtime listeners. They praised her as a reporter who always asked tough questions but was known as a compassionate and genuine person, a broadcaster who kept her sense of humor while working hard.
"I am in shock. I just have a hard time believing it," said Karen Carroll, who recently stepped down as KMOX's vice president and general manager. "Nan was the strength and backbone of KMOX News and always the first to pitch in [during] any crisis. It is a shame."
Colleagues described her as tenacious in her work, recalling how she had set up a folding table and chair to report by the Arch during the 1993 MississippiRiver flood and staked out a politician in Congress who thught he wasn't doing interviews that day until he saw Mrs. Wyatt waiting for him.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay called Mrs. Wyatt "one of the most gifted journalists I have ever known" a tough interviewer but "always well-prepared, fair and professional."


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