A former student at College of the Ozarks who knew the suspect accused of killing asbestos attorney Randy Gori said Timothy Michael Banowetz appeared to live outside his means with multiple credit cards maxed out before disappearing without a word.
Banowetz, 28, has been charged with first degree murder, armed robbery, and aggravated unlawful restraint. He is accused of ordering Gori and two minors to the ground and binding their hands at their rural Edwardsville home on Jan. 4. He then allegedly stabbed and cut Gori, resulting in his death. Banowetz took cell phones from the two children and money from Gori. The event was interrupted when an unidentified woman showed up, allegedly forcing Banowetz to ultimately flee in Gori’s 2020 Rolls Royce Cullinan.
The former student, who wished to remain anonymous, said Banowetz was quiet and “always seemed to have super nice things” but was sometimes late in paying rent.
The College of the Ozarks indicated Banowetz attended from 2010 to 2014. He studied business administration during his time there. And, at the time of Gori's murder, Banowetz was a student in good standing at St. Louis College of Pharmacy.
“He always liked people to think he had more money than he did,” the former student said of Banowetz.
As an example of how Banowetz valued the money he spent, he shared a story of when Banowetz bought a brand new lifted F150 truck and later "sank" it going through mud holes in rural Missouri.
The former student said that one day he and another student realized they hadn’t heard from Banowetz in a couple days and went to check on him. They found that Banowetz had packed up his stuff and left the rental they shared.
“Not a word, a note, or anything,” he said. “Just gone. He changed his number and deleted all social media. And I hadn’t heard from him since. That was probably late summer 2012.”
It is unclear how Banowetz’s status as a student at College of the Ozarks changed over time. He worked at the school’s swimming pool during his time there; he competed as a swimmer while a high school student at Fort Zumwalt West in O'Fallon, Mo.
The former student who knew Banowetz said he didn’t talk about his family. He was quiet and wasn’t involved in many extracurricular activities when they knew each other.