AG Hawley to investigate MO rape kit backlog, local officials react

SOUTHEAST MISSOURI (KFVS) – Original Post

Missouri’s attorney general says his office will audit a reported backlog of the state’s unprocessed rape kits.

Attorney General Josh Hawley’s office says according to national statistics, one in six women will face an attempted or completed sexual assault in their lifetime.

“Rape kits provide a powerful tool for identifying and prosecuting potential sex criminals. But both in Missouri and across the country, thousands of rape kits go untested, hamstringing law enforcement efforts to prosecute offenders,” Hawley said. “Every rape kit that goes untested means a rapist who remains on the streets, able to attack again, and a survivor who is denied justice. This is unacceptable. Our investigation will determine the scope of the problem in Missouri, the agencies responsible, and the ways we can implement reform.”

Local officials say ending the backlog is an excellent idea, but it may not be as easy as it seems.

“It takes a long time to get anything back from the crime lab in Missouri,” said Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney Russ Oliver

Oliver says when it takes months for results it can be hard for victims, and harmful to their case.

“They’re going through these depositions and really being re-victimized,”Oliver said. “If we had that DNA evidence many of them would plead guilty, because that makes some of these cases slam dunk cases.”

But Oliver says sometimes it could take up to 8 months to get results.

In Sikeston, Sergeant Jon Broom says they don’t have long waits, but you never know who’s on the street.

“We may have made an arrest in a case, and have submitted a DNA sample, and there could be a sexual assault kit or DNA evidence that’s sitting in a crime lab or a police station somewhere that’s not been submitted,” Sergeant Broom said.

Oliver says – it’s not an easy problem to solve.

“I think it’s going to take funding, and I think that you can say we’re going to end the backlog of rape kits, but you’re taking those analysts off something else,” Oliver said.
However, both believe it needs to be done.

“It would make our state safer in the fact that we would be able to take people off the streets that are committing sexual assaults and serious felonies, and things like that,” Sergeant Broom said.

“If you can’t get rape kits done in a timely manner what can you get done in a timely manner? That’s one of the most important pieces of evidence that they need to get done,” Oliver said.

Hawley says his office will be doing audits to find out where the backups are in the state, but did not give a time line on when it would be completed.

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Man arrested in connection to Butler Co. death investigation; remains found 2 years later

BUTLER COUNTY, MO (KFVS) – Original Post

The remains of Edward Goodwin were believed to have been found on Thursday, November 2, 2017, two years after the man went missing in June of 2015.

A man was arrested on a first-degree murder charge in connection with the investigation.

According to Butler County Sheriff Mark Dobbs, Rickey Hurt is being held on a $300,000 cash only bond.

Dobbs said they went to serve a warrant at Hurt’s home and he was found hiding in a back bedroom.

According to Dobbs, Goodwin’s remains were found in a lake on a property off County Road 572 in Butler County.

Only 40 percent of his remains were recovered and investigators are working to uncover the rest that were submerged in mud and brush.

Sheriff Dobbs said his team has been working to search after excavating the lake and sitting through of thick mud.

Goodwin’s remains were sent to a medical examiner in Farmington, Missouri. They were able to determine the bones are from a male around Goodwin’s same age and height.

Goodwin’s mother, Connie, reported him missing on June 27, 2015.

The remains will be sent to The University of Texas use mitochondrial DNA testing to confirm 100 percent that this is Goodwin, but Dobbs is confident it is Goodwin’s remains.

A man was taken into custody in October 2015 by Shannon County deputies on charges stemming from Goodwin’s disappearance. However, those charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence.

No cause of death has been determined at this time, but Dobbs believes Goodwin may have been shot. The sheriff said their information is that Goodwin was probably led to a rural area, beaten and killed.

STUDY: Premature birth rates up across The U.S. for second year in row

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) – Original Post

According to a new report by the March of Dimes premature birth rates are up across the nation and in The Heartland.

One mom in Cape Girardeau County is a mom to two preemies in the last two years.

“She is independent and rambunctious. Super smart. And Link is gaining motivation every day,” said mom Samantha Matthews.

Matthews is a proud mom who’s road to motherhood hasn’t been easy.

“Link has a little bit of the developmental delays for the preemie part of things, but he has grown stronger and stronger since he was born,” Matthews said.

Matthews has a genetic disorder, called Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP), that causes her liver to fail during pregnancy.

Which means both her children Nyla and Link came early.

“Every time I would go home my heart would break a little because I knew I had to go home without them,” Matthews said.

A new report from The March of Dimes shows premature birth rates across the U.S are up for the second year in a row.

In Missouri – rates rose from 10 to 10.2 percent.

“There’s more drug use, there’s more poverty, there’s more baseline poor health, and those things will all contribute to the premature birth rates,” said Dr. Karlyle Christian – Ritter, Chief of Neonatology at St. Francis Medical Center.

Dr. Christian-Ritter says in Southeast Missouri – that number could be much higher.

The most recent date from Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services shows some counties had rates of up to nearly 20 percent from 2007 to 2011.

“As the obesity rates go up, the gestational diabetes rates goes up, so all of these things, all of these medical issues that we seem to have increasing rates of are going to contribute,” Dr. Christian-Ritter said.

Doctor Christian Ritter says even with those factors there will always be special cases like Nyla and Link.

“We’re not having any more kids, though, because it was way too traumatizing. We’re done with the NICU stays, we’re done with high risk pregnancies that could put me out of work, but these two were most definitely worth it,” Matthews said.

According to Dr. Christian-Ritter premature birth is defined as any baby born at less than 37 weeks.

Man recalls run-in with men accused of murder in Reynolds County, MO

CARTER COUNTY, MO (KFVS) – Original Post

We are learning more about the two men accused of murder in Reynolds County, Missouri, especially David Young.

One Carter County man said not too long ago he found Young knocking on his door.

“No phone call, nothing like that. I didn’t know they were coming. They just showed up,” said Bruce, a Carter County resident.

He owns a home in Carter County and said David Young helped seal his driveway some years ago.

So, he was surprised when in 2016 he showed up at his door, with Timothy Callahan sitting in a truck.

“He kind of looked a little bit nervous to me, to be honest with you. I asked him for a paper or something so if I changed my mind I could call him or something,” Bruce said.

Which Bruce kept just in case.

When the news in Reynolds County about a double murder and triple shooting broke, he was shocked.

“I said you won’t believe this, but these two men that Sherae Honeycutt had posted pictures of, are the two men that came to our house,” Bruce said.

According to court documents, door knocks are something David Young has experience with.

In Gasconade County, he allegedly extorted a couple for over $18,000, and another couple in St. Francois County for more than $11,000. Totaling over $30,000.

“The fact that these same people showed up at our house I wonder if we weren’t in their sights,” Bruce said.

It’s still unclear what caused Young and Callahan to allegedly stop at the Nance’s house that day, but Reynolds County Sheriff Stout said if you ever get an unannounced door knock, you have to be careful.

“Be very careful. Make sure who he is, ask him for his driver’s license, some kind of an ID, and get a phone number saying, ‘well, if I’m interested I’ll contact you later,” Sheriff Stout said.

Which is exactly what Bruce did.

Bruce said he believes his faith kept him safe.

“I think he was just watching over us. I sure do.”

Both David Young and Timothy Callahan are facing two counts of first-degree murder in Reynolds County.

They were arrested in Ohio outside Cincinnati, and are expected to be extradited back to Missouri in the coming weeks.

Sikeston High School remembers long time educator after unprecedented donation

SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) – Original Post

Students at Sikeston High School are getting a chance at a new scholarship all thanks to an unprecedented donation from a man who dedicated his entire life to the district.

“I was astounded, I mean, he just – he was such a great guy,” said Sikeston High School senior Brett Johnson. “And for him to give that much money, and care that much – it was just humbling to hear that he cared about us that much.”

Bob Depro became a teacher at Sikeston High School right out of college and was the voice of Sikeston Sports for about half a century until he died suddenly on December 12, 2016.

On October 18, his estate surprised the school with a $1.7 million dollar donation for scholarships.

“I had no idea. I think he had planned that for quite some time,” said his cousin Gerald Settles.

Settles says Mr. Depro never married and had no children.

Sikeston Schools was his life.

“It was an honor to him,” Settles said. “He was very dedicated to that, and tried his very best to make every game.”

Coach Greg Hollifield says he knew Mr. Depro planned to take care of the kids in some way but gave them far more than money.

“Mr. Depro calling their name out when they’d make a shot,” Hollifield said. “Especially a three-point shot. He had a very specific way of announcing it, and all of our players and fans just truly loved that.”

“It was just Bob,” Settles said. “That’s who he was.”

Now. the kids that loved him so much have the chance for Mr. Depro to impact their lives one more time through The Bob Depro Scholarship.

“I would be honored to know that even though he worked so hard he still Is working hard, and I could have his name on something that would help my future,” Johnson said.

“There’s no doubt it’s going to give kids an opportunity to do great things, and the students are excited about it, and what an opportunity and Mr. Depro’s made this possible,” Hollifield said.

The Sikeston Public Schools Foundation is currently forming a committee to organize the scholarship.

They hope to have it ready for students to apply by the end of this year.

Settles says Mr. Depro also donated large sums of money to other organizations that impacted his life. Mostly in the Sikeston area:

  • $1.7 million to The Sikeston Public Schools Foundation
  • $250,000 to Southeast Missouri State University where he was an instructor and received his undergraduate degree.
  • $250,000 to The University of Mississippi at Ole Miss where he received his master’s degree.
  • $100,000 to Historic Downtown Sikeston.
  • $100,000 to The Sikeston Public Library.
  • $100,000 to The YMCA of Southeast Missouri.
  • $100,000 to Delta Medical Center in Sikeston.

2 suspects in deadly triple shooting extradited to Reynolds Co., MO

REYNOLDS COUNTY, MO (KFVS) – Original Post

Two men facing murder charges in connection to a triple shooting were extradited to Reynolds County, Missouri on Wednesday, November 1.

They appeared in court for their arraignment and the case was set for Nov. 15.

Timothy Callahan, 44, of Potosi, Mo., and David Young, 67, of Ironton, Mo., both face charges of murder in the shooting deaths of James and Janet Nance.

They appeared before a judge in Ohio on Monday, October 30.

Court documents show Callahan is facing charges in Reynolds County of two counts of first-degree murder, and three counts of armed criminal action, and one count each of first-degree robbery, first-degree assault or attempt/serious physical injury or special victim.

Young is facing charges in Reynolds County including two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of armed criminal action, first-degree robbery,  first-degree assault or attempt/serious physical injury or special victim.

Both men were arrested in Hamilton Township, Ohio on Saturday, Oct. 28.

During the arraignment on Monday morning, Young waived extradition to Missouri.

Callahan when before Warren County Judge Timothy at 1:15 p.m. He waived extradition to Missouri as well.

They both face charges in Ohio for being a fugitive from justice.

Sheriff Tom Stout believes Young was extradited back to Gasconade County first. Callahan was expected to come back to Reynolds County.

Officers with the Hamilton Township Police Department and the Warren County Tactical Response Unit executed a warrant in Cozzadale, Ohio after they received a tip about the wanted fugitives. A follow-up warrant was executed in Deerfield Township where the two men were detained.

According to investigators with the Hamilton Township Police Department, investigators from the Reynolds County Sheriff’s Office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol immediately responded to Hamilton Township to interview Callahan and Young.

They were both in the Warren County Jail and appeared in court in Warren County, Ohio.

Reynolds County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Randazzo alleges in court documents that Young and Callahan went to the home of James and Janet Nance on Oct. 18 to rob James Nance. His wife and her friend arrived at the home during the robbery, according to court documents.

James and Janet Nance, both of Ellington, and a third woman were all shot in the head, according to Reynolds County Sheriff Tom Stout.

James Nance, 86, died from his injuries on Saturday, Oct. 21. His wife, Janet Nance, 72, died at a St. Louis hospital the day of the shooting.

A second female victim, age 73, was able to talk to investigators about what happened.

Sheriff Stout said he never expected what he saw at the Nance’s home that afternoon.

“I walked in and seen these two helpless people laying there with gunshots to their heads,” he recalled.

All three victims were shot execution style according to Stout. The second female victim was shot twice in the head and was the only survivor.

“She’s going to have to live with this the rest of her life, and wonder – what’s behind me,” Stout said.

Stout said the men came away from the Nance’s home with a few thousand dollars.

“It’s not worth it, you know I mean, a million dollars is not worth a life, but when you’ve got three laying there, and robbery for say – two or three thousand dollars – that don’t add up,” Stout said

Stout said he’s looking forward to getting the men back in Reynolds Count to go trial for first-degree murder.

“I hope they know what they did, and they will never forget it, because you treated my residents of Reynolds County wrong, and don’t ever forget it. I won’t,” he said.

Reynolds County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Randazzo said more charges are coming Monday, Oct. 30 and he’s going to take this case as far as he can.

“The death penalty is on the table, and that’s not something I’m willing to negotiate away,” Randazzo said.

He said the murders nearly two weeks ago in his county are unlike anything they’ve seen here before.

“I can’t help but think about my grandparents, and you see a set of grandparents that were home, that were just living in retirement that had some nice things and were taken advantage of,” Randazzo said “They were taken advantage of at first for robbery, and ultimately resulted in their death.”

The second female victim helped investigators track down Young and Callahan.

“That was the most critical piece of evidence information that we’ve had,” Randazzo said. “The living victim was able to provide information with regard to suspects with regard to how the crime happened. What happened to her and the other victims.”

He said he wants to make sure the men pay for the lives he says they’ve taken.

“I don’t believe the death penalty is right for every murder case,” Randazzo explained. “It’s supposed to be used in the most heinous, the most violent, and the most grotesque actions, and I certainly think those fit the pattern and fit the mold here for me to seek the death penalty.”

THE INCIDENT:

The shooting happened inside a home on Highway 106 about five miles from Ellington around 4 p.m. on Oct. 18.

Sheriff Stout said nothing seemed to be out of place or stolen from the home where the shooting took place. They later learned the men got away with money.

The two suspects were believed to be driving a blue vehicle.

According to investigators, two witnesses saw a vehicle matching this description leave the Nance residence. They said it turned onto Route F and traveled north.

Investigators learned that on the evening of Oct. 18 a blue 1998 Pontiac Sunfire with Missouri registration “AF2C0M” was towed on MO Route 32 near Boss, Mo. in Dent County. The vehicle was owned and operated by David Young, according to court documents.

The next day witnesses said Young was traveling with a man identified as Timothy Callahan. One witness stated that Young said Callahan shot three people in the back of the head and had to shoot one person twice because they “wouldn’t die.”

Young indicated that he was there when the shooting happened, according to court documents.

On Oct. 21, investigators found the Pontiac Sunfire at Young’s last known address in the 1300 block of Trapp Rock Road in Ironton, Mo. There, officers interviewed Young’s girlfriend Linda Brown, who also lives at the home. Brown said the last time she saw Young was on Oct. 19 and that he was scheduled to appear in Gasconade County Court on Oct. 20.

Court records show that Young was facing a felony charge of financial exploitation of an elderly or disabled person. According to the probable cause statement, Young tried to get a couple in St. Francois County, Missouri to pay him $4,800 to repair a barn that the insurance company said should cost about $1,300. Young did not appear in court and has an outstanding felony warrant for his arrest with nationwide extradition stemming from these charges.

On Oct. 26, investigators learned that Young and Callahan were staying at the Red Cedar Lodge, Bonne Terre, Mo. Officers spoke with hotel staff and reviewed surveillance video which confirmed both suspects had stayed at the hotel and checked out in the early morning hours of Oct. 26.

Information from the hotel showed that Callahan rented one room under his name and provided his Missouri Driver’s License identifying himself to staff. Surveillance video from the hotel showed that Young and Callahan were traveling in a U-Haul rental truck with Arizona registration “AG69982.” This vehicle was rented by Callahan in Poplar Bluff, Mo. and was due to be returned in St. Louis on Oct. 25.

The U-Haul was returned to a U-Haul location near Cincinnati, Ohio on Oct. 27, according to police. Young has a daughter in the Cincinnati area who confirmed that Young and Callahan were staying at a motel in Deerfield Township, Ohio.

On the morning of Oct. 28, at the request of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Warren County Ohio Tactical Team executed a search warrant at the Best Western Mason Inn and located both Callahan and Young. Officers arrested Young on his outstanding arrest warrant and held Timothy Callahan as a person of interest in the Nance murders and the assault.

Investigators with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Reynolds County Sheriff’s Office traveled to the Hamilton Township, Ohio Police Department on Oct. 27 to interview Callahan and Young.

In an interview, Callahan reportedly admitted that he and Young traveled to the Nance residence on Highway 106 on Oct. 18 for the purpose of committing a robbery at the Nance residence.

Court records show that Callahan told investigators that he and Young drove Young’s 1998 Pontiac Sunfire to the home. He said both he and Young were armed with a .22 caliber revolver and a 9mm handgun. Callahan stated that they stole cash from James Nance.

Callahan stated that he shot James Nance, Janet Nance, and the third victim in the back of the head with the .22 caliber revolver. He and Young then fled the scene.

Cape Girardeau businesses new, tried-and-true prepare for SEMO homecoming

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) – Original Post

Homecoming is a huge tradition here for Cape Girardeau.

On October 14, Broadway Street will be full of people, and businesses are getting ready.

Some have been around for a while, and others are having their first homecoming.

Last Call bar on Broadway and Sprigg is ready to go.

General Manager Cory Huskey says last year they had around 2,200 customers on Homecoming, and this year they expect even more.

“I mean, we definitely look forward to it. It’s a day where we definitely pack in ten times the amount of people that we do on a normal night. It’s definitely a big event. It takes a lot of planning, a lot of execution with vendors in between our liquor sales and beer sales. It’s definitely a big day for us,” Huskey said.

Baristas, is the new coffee shop in The Marquette Tower.

Managing Partner Keller ford says they are excited to be a part of the tradition.

“It’s a big deal, I mean, everybody – even people that went to SEMO, graduated and came back, or just people that lived in Cape and moved away – they all come back. The parade’s a big deal. The game’s a big deal. It will be hopping in downtown Cape and we’re just happy that we’re here and open and we can kinda be a part of that,” Ford said.

Both Baristas and Last Call will be starting early tomorrow.

Baristas is going to have some fun coffee tastings, pumpkin spice lattes, and bloody marys will be flowing.

Last Call will start pouring drinks at 8 a.m., and there is a $3.00 cover charge for live music, and they will be open until 1 a.m. Sunday morning.