Suspect arrested in South Carolina for double murder in Rochester

A suspect in the killing of a 23-year-old woman and her 2-year-old daughter was arrested Sunday in South Carolina.

Renard Lydell Carter mug
Renard Lydell Carter

UPDATED: 2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14

The Rochester man who is accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend and her toddler reportedly fled to South Carolina to kill an ex-girlfriend, the Richland County Sheriff announced Monday afternoon.

Sheriff Leon Lott said in a news conference livestreamed from Columbia, S.C., that a "very dangerous" man was apprehended. The man was identified by the sheriff and the Rochester Police Department as 29-year-old Renard Lydell Carter.

Death investigation 091320 03.JPG
Police investigate the death of a woman in her 20s and a toddler. They were found dead at an apartment at Olympik Village Apartments on 31st Street Northeast in Rochester Sunday. (John Molseed/


Carter was shot multiple times by law enforcement in South Carolina as they attempted to take him into custody. He is currently in the hospital, according to Lott.

"Witnesses shared that recently Mr. Carter had sent messages on social media platforms that he was going to kill the mothers of his children," the Olmsted County Attorney's Office wrote in a news release. "Witnesses also shared that Carter had been overheard threatening the adult victim and her toddler. It is believed that Mr. Carter has a former partner in South Carolina who is the mother to his children."

The investigation into Carter began Sunday afternoon after officers were called to the Olympik Village Apartments at 402 31st St. NE about 1:40 p.m. Sunday for a report of a possible deceased person.

A family member told the Post Bulletin on Sunday that they had not heard from the 23-year-old woman since Thursday and went to her apartment to check on her.

Unable to get into the lower-level apartment through the door, a relative entered through a bedroom window shortly after 1:30 p.m. Sunday and found the woman's 2-year-old child unresponsive. Police were called, and they found the woman also dead in another part of the apartment.

On Monday morning, police identified the pair as Keona Sade Foote, 23, and her daughter, 2-year-old Miyona Zayla Miller. Their deaths are the third and fourth homicides in Rochester in 2020.

Two flowers placed at an apartment window Monday morning, September 14, 2020, are all that remains of the scene where police found a mother and her 2 year-old daughter killed at Olympik Village Apartments over the weekend. (Ken Klotzbach /


Police confirmed Sunday night that they are investigating the incident as a homicide and that both the woman and the child died of trauma. Foote is believed to have been strangled with a phone charging cord, according to court documents. The deaths are believed to have occurred on or between Sept. 10 and Sept. 13, 2020.

Rochester police Lt. Tom Faudskar said Carter was Foote's boyfriend and is not the father of the toddler. Carter may have been living with Foote in the month before the incident.

A Minnesota Department of Corrections warrant was issued for Carter because he is on probation, Faudskar said. Court records indicate that Carter pleaded guilty in Olmsted County District Court in March 2019 to a charge of a felony domestic abuse no contact order violation. He was sentenced in May of that same year to 21 months in state prison. Records indicate he was released from prison in April of this year.

Police learned Carter was in the area of Columbia, S.C. Working with law enforcement there, Carter was arrested Sunday evening on the warrant.

Multiple law enforcement agencies in South Carolina were involved in arresting Carter. Lott said that police were able to get his ex-girlfriend to a safe house and then located Carter at a hotel. Police attempted to make contact with Carter through the door of the hotel room, and he allegedly made threats saying he had a gun and that the would shoot officers, Lott said.

Around 10:10 p.m. ET, Carter allegedly came out of the hotel room with a gun in his hand and three officers fired at him, Lott said. He reportedly livestreamed some of the South Carolina incident. Rochester police were also alerted to multiple videos that allegedly show Carter in the Rochester apartment telling the woman to die as she gasped for breath.

Carter was shot multiple times in the upper body, according to a news release from the sheriff's department.

He was taken to a hospital for medical treatment. Lott did not know Carter's condition Monday afternoon. Police later learned the weapon Carter had was a BB gun, which Lott held up at the news conference.


Carter will not face charges in South Carolina and will be extradited to Minnesota, according to the sheriff.

The two Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies and the special agent with the the State Law Enforcement Division who fired the shots were placed on administrative leave or administrative duty, according to the sheriff's department.

Rochester police announced shortly after the news conference in South Carolina ended that Carter will face two charges of second-degree murder and second-degree murder of an unborn child.

Emily Cutts is the Post Bulletin's public safety reporter. She joined the Post Bulletin in July 2018 after stints in Vermont and Western Massachusetts.
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