Deputies investigate body found at Arrow Rock camp site

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Saline County Sheriff Wally George said his office was notified late Wednesday morning, May 27, that the body of a deceased female was found near Arrow Rock.

Saline County Coroner Willie Harlow was called to the scene, but little information was available yet about cause of death or related circumstances.

George said he had called in Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control detectives to assist in the investigation.

The woman apparently had been camping with two other individuals and may have died during the night.

George said further information would be released when available.

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  • oMG

    -- Posted by cpcrazy21 on Wed, May 27, 2009, at 4:43 PM
  • That's too bad.

    -- Posted by opin on Wed, May 27, 2009, at 7:28 PM
  • Why does the Sheriff have to call in The Highway Patrol to do all of their investigations?? Why can't the Sheriff's Department investigate anything, I thought that was their job??

    They don't work traffic enforcement, now they don't do investigations either?? Won't be long before the Highway Patrol is State Police and our Sheriff will only serve papers...Oh I forgot, that's all they do now!

    If it keeps going the way it is now, the Sheriff in the State of Missouri will be a thing of the past like the east coast states are now.. But the Sheriff's are doing it to theirselves.

    Our county seems to be the only county around that has the Highway Patrol do all of their work for them...

    -- Posted by muddywater on Thu, May 28, 2009, at 3:47 AM
  • Remember that when the jail was designed and built, the sheriff included office space for highway patrol. It's a long way to their troop headquarters in Lee's Summit. That means they are more thoroughly integrated into county law enforcement, simply by convenience.

    I wonder how much deputy time is consumed by process service, handling warrants and other items issued by the courts. This sheriff function is often overlooked.

    It would be wonderful if more people were simply considerate of one another, didn't steal, didn't threaten, didn't vandalize, didn't use or make drugs. We'd need fewer cops. Generally cops can't prevent crime; they can't be everywhere all the time. They can deter. Mostly, they are called in after some bad thing happens. So the solution is mature, considerate human behavior. When is that going to happen?

    -- Posted by Cat13 on Thu, May 28, 2009, at 6:09 AM
  • a lil respect for the deceased please. i know this girl did not deserve this being about bashing law enforcement.

    -- Posted by wheresthelove on Thu, May 28, 2009, at 7:24 AM
  • Ok, Muddywater

    First, If I remember correctly the sheriff's department has never "officially" worked traffic. They do not go out "hunting down" local people for "traffic violations." Also the sheriff's department works many other criminal investigations from forgery, rape, child molestation,(and believe me there are many of those types of people in this county)burglary, domestic violence, and numerous other offenses. This I am sure you have not thought about or maybe you have. As I understand, one of the reasons the "highway patrol" was called is the scene was secured by one deputy who held the other people involved in the incident and taped the scene. Now that one deputy could not possibly have taken statements, logged everyone in and out of the crime scene, met with the coroner, and then processed the body while maintaining scent integrity. The DDCC sent a team of six people along with two park rangers to do the preliminary investigation. They were in and out within 5 hours. If I remember correctly the Shepard investigation,"a mess from the beginning" and the subsequent "M" squad investigation resulted in two plea bargins,"joke" and an aquittal. Now tell the public what they need to hear, which is the truth about our local "heroes." Sometimes it is better to call someone or a investigative team, if you will, to come use their expert training in a specific area to aid our deputies or deputy in this situation. I see no problem with that. If you do, I suggest you apply for a position with the sheriff's department and see if you can keep up. It also sounds like you may be a bitter "wanna be" who never could get a job with a department or did not possess the ability to do the job in the first place. Either way the facts need to be heard and gathered correctly first. My prayers go out to the family who lost their mother,daughter, and friend, no matter who she was.

    -- Posted by IPOH on Thu, May 28, 2009, at 8:47 AM
  • One more thing I meant to say scene intregrity not scent. For those proofreaders out there!!

    -- Posted by IPOH on Thu, May 28, 2009, at 8:49 AM
  • Does he only have one deputy now?

    -- Posted by sgates79 on Thu, May 28, 2009, at 12:33 PM
  • Here is the rest of the story:

    -- Posted by Kathy Fairchild on Thu, May 28, 2009, at 1:33 PM
  • Hey gates,

    There are 8 full time deputies and three were working yesterday. One was in court, I am sure, there was one inside the attention to your scanner!

    -- Posted by IPOH on Thu, May 28, 2009, at 3:04 PM
  • IPOH, your post inferred the Highway Patrol was called in because one deputy couldn't do it alone. My apologies.

    -- Posted by sgates79 on Thu, May 28, 2009, at 4:44 PM
  • Come on muddy, don't let that stand, "Wannabe!"

    -- Posted by sgates79 on Thu, May 28, 2009, at 5:26 PM
  • i would just like to say that if the death of someone, no matter the cause or fault, is not and should not be a time to question or incite a political battle on who should be sherrif and whether he does his job. call the highway patrol, the fbi, the cia, just solv this case and dont let another family suffer a loss like this again.

    -- Posted by thisguy on Thu, May 28, 2009, at 9:36 PM
  • sgates79

    I don't know where to even start about being a "Wannabe". First of all the Marshall Democrat-News wouldn't even start to print what I've seen. Anymore I don't think the people even want to hear the truth. This wasn't meant to be a political attack, I was simply asking why our Sheriff's Department doesn't have a trained Detective or Detectives that can investigate anything? I would question this no matter who was Sheriff.

    I have nothing against the Highway Patrol, they have good Officers. I just can't understand how you can be a Sheriff for over 30 years and not see the importance of training your Deputies to be the best they can be. I can't understand why in over 30 years, there has never been a detective on the Sheriff's Department? If it's a budget problem, has our Sheriff ever asked the County Commission for the funds to have a Detective, NO! It seems that our deputies should be allowed to have more training than just the bare bones minimum that is required by the state every 3 years. Like shooting a fake gun instead of real guns for training. It's hard to protect yourself and the community with a fake gun. That's just one example of the lack of training I'm talking about.

    I don't read many articles about Pettis, Cooper & Lafayette counties asking the Highway Patrol to do all of their Major Investigations, maybe they do??

    This isn't a political attack, it's just straight talk with no answers. I believe that IPOH is the one who has a political interest with the Sheriff's department.

    It's very sad and difficult for the family when a person dies. Our Sheriff's department needs to be trained to handle Major incidences. All I ever hear is excuses, year after year on every investigation that comes up. If the Deputies are not properly trained, then the Sheriff has to take the blame for the bad along with taking credit for all of the good done by his officers.

    My sympathy goes out to Leslie's family. May god comfort and watch over you in your time of need.

    -- Posted by muddywater on Fri, May 29, 2009, at 5:17 AM
  • muddy

    Do some research, there were investigators there for many years. That position was then moved to the prosicutors office. Steve Rimmer I beleive was the gentlemans name who filled those shoes and did a mighty fine job of it. I am not sure if that position still remains in existance but it was less than than 30 years ago. That he was there.

    -- Posted by litlmissme on Fri, May 29, 2009, at 5:12 PM
  • After sleeping on it, IMHO if the citizens of Saline county were upset with the abilities of our Sheriff's Dept., he would not have remained in office for over 30 years. He must be pleasing the majority of people in our county. There have been those who ran for the office and lost terribly. There are not many sheriff's that remain in office that long, so he must be doing something right.

    Also, a lot of decisions like having an investigator and such are up to the coutny commision, not the sheriff himself.

    -- Posted by litlmissme on Sat, May 30, 2009, at 7:58 AM
  • litlmissme,

    The County Commisions only say on anything the Sheriff does is limited to the budget only. They have no say who does what at the Sheriff's Department, that is the sole discretion of the Sheriff. If push comes to shove the Sheriff can resort to the Circuit Judge to set salaries and manpower numbers, which the Judge can court order higher pay and more deputies.

    As far as the Prosecuting attorney having an investigator, that ended with Richard Downing At the Sheriff's request. The Prosecuting Attorney's investigator never worked the crime scene at the time of the crime. His only job was to follow up for the Prosecutor. But again our Sheriff put a stop to that. (Political reasons)

    The Sheriff doesn't have to be a good law enforcement officer to stay in office that long, just be a very good politician...

    -- Posted by muddywater on Sat, May 30, 2009, at 11:13 PM
  • Muddy:

    Wally has had more than one investigator in his department prior to moving to the prosecutor's office, he had Walden Sturke (sp), and Dick Downing.

    You are right I believe that Wally is a great politician..., but does that make him a bad sheriff? I do not feel that makes him a bad sheriff, in fact it makes him a better one because a great politician pleases the majority, by saving the taxpayers money.

    The commission does oversee the budget issues, and Wally could go over their heads but "If it ain't broke don't fix it". Why spend more money than needed?

    By allowing other agencies to come in and help out, I do not feel is a weakness. It allows someone with more assets to do a complete investigation, with no prejudice toward any one.

    I for one believe that is saving us tax payers money by utilizing an organization that is already available, in stead of being bull headed and doing your own investigation and messing something up.

    The crime shows like CSI, make investigations look simple. The truth is not many small town sheriffs' departments have a lab, or technicians to perform that kind of testing. Not because the sheriff doesn't want them. It is because to maintain them would cost more than what the taxpayers would want to support. How many major crimes occur in our county or adjoining counties....not enough to warrant that type of equipment?

    If you stand firm in your beliefs then you should go visit with the county commission your self and voice your opinion. If enough dissatisfied citizens approached the commission possibly, they would increase the budget to accommodate an investigator, running radar and more deputies on the road.


    -- Posted by litlmissme on Sun, May 31, 2009, at 10:40 AM

    -- Posted by marshallmom67 on Mon, Jun 1, 2009, at 4:51 AM
  • Saline County doesn't have the money or the resources to purchased the equipment that is necessary to conduct a forensic investigation. The Sheriffs department does an excellent job. By calling in the DDCC the county is availed with additions manpower, specialist trained in their fields of expertise and money to pay the salaries and the additional equipment and supplies necessary. This saves the taxpayers in Saline County a lot of taxpayer money.

    -- Posted by John Q. on Mon, Jun 1, 2009, at 5:33 PM
  • I am sorry if you feel my debate with Muddy water has been disrespectful. I havn't meant any disrespect. I have made no comments that have referred to the deceased or in the matter of her death, simply on the way in which the sheriff handled the situation.

    I have never met this young lady nor her family and if my comments have in any way offended any one. I assure you that was not my intention, and I am sorry.

    I beleive that this forum was set up to encourage such debates and I had my say, now I will excuse myself and be on my way. Again sorry, there was no offense intended.

    -- Posted by litlmissme on Mon, Jun 1, 2009, at 5:49 PM
  • Any new news on this Kathy?

    -- Posted by BigPoppi on Tue, Jun 16, 2009, at 2:45 AM
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