News To Know: KBI homicide investigation, Neosho’s dog park

NEOSHO COUNTY, Kan. – On December 6, at around 5:00 pm, Neosho County, Kansas Sheriff deputies went to 6845 160th Road in rural Chanute. This follows a welfare check after the Cumberland County, North Carolina, Sheriff’s Office called with information causing concern for a woman who lived at that home. Deputies searched the property and found the body of 47-year-old Elaina M. Asprea next to a field near the home. The Neosho County Sheriff’s Office and Kansas Bureau of Investigation are looking into the case as a homicide. Authorities in Fayetteville, North Carolina, have developed a person of interest in the case. Click here if you would like to read the entire article.

JOPLIN, Mo. – For the fourth time in a two-week span a Range Line convenient store has been burglarized.  Two times in the last two days. These smash-and-grab burglaries have all occurred overnight during closing hours as persons break windows, and/or doors, to gain access, then quickly run inside and grab items before police can respond to the alarm. If anyone has information on the identity of the individuals, contact the Joplin Police Department at 417-623-3131. If you would like to read the entire article, click here.

SARCOXIE, Mo. — On December 7, at about 5 am, reports of a fire in the 200 block of 8th Street alerted Jasper County E-911. According to the report, the fire started at the rear of the home. On arrival active flames and smoke were visible. The two adults of the residence were out safely. Red Cross was requested to assist the two adults who are displaced as a result of the fire. Click here to read more about this story.

NEOSHO, Mo. – Scenic Park in Neosho is getting a new addition as construction begins on a new dog park. Features range from cones to dogs can run through, a bridge for dogs, a bench for grooming, and even dog watering stations. It will be free to the public and is expected to open on January 31st. If you would like to read more about this story, click here.

House fire reveals 8 dead in Broken Arrow, Okla. home, Homicide Investigation launched

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. – The Broken Arrow Police Dept confirm they are investigating a house fire where eight people are dead in the 400 block of S Hickory Ave.  They are now calling it a Homicide Investigation.

BAPD call it a, “complex scene given the state of the house due to the fire damage.”

Authorities were drawn to the residence as a reported structure fire.  However it is unknown if the eight died of the fire or another way.

Broken Arrow Police do not believe there is an immediate threat to the public.

Chief Berryhill states in a media release, “Broken Arrow stands together. We will mourn together, and in the end we will heal together. Please pray for for those who have lost their lives, and for our first responders who are dealing with a tragedy of this magnitude. My staff and I, as well as the Fire Chief and his staff, will have more information tomorrow.”

The media release goes on to state there will be a press conference Friday at an unknown time.

This is a breaking news story, stay with Joplin News First on KOAM News Now as we continue to learn more. Scroll below and sign up for our JLNews email alerts so you don’t miss a story.



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Homicide investigation in Pittsburg, Kan. on Cedar Crest Drive

Pittsburg, Kan. — Pittsburg Police officers acting on a tip performed a welfare check on an adult female on Monday, October 10, 2022 just after noon at 1309 Cedar Crest Drive in Pittsburg.

Leut Rebekah Lynch of PPD states in a media release, “The caller had received information the female living at this residence may have been hurt or injured.”

Officers discovered the body of Machelle Lynn Fontenot, 54, of Pittsburg.

The death was determined to be Homicide.

While officers were still at the crime scene information developed in a subject. In an odd twist that male individual was seen driving near Cedar Crest Drive. Officers initiated a traffic stop.

The male suspect was taken into custody.

Formal charges have yet to be filed. Leut Lynch states he is being held in the Crawford County Jail on allegations of, “2nd degree murder, and one count of felony interference with law enforcement.”

The Homicide investigation continues and PPD ask anyone with information to please contact 620-231-1700, or their tip line, 620-231-TIPS (8477).

Stay with Joplin News First on KOAM News Now as we continue to learn more. Scroll below and sign up for our JLNews email list so you don’t miss an article.

News To Know: pursuit becomes standoff, reward for escapees

JOPLIN, Mo. – About 9:30 p.m. reports of a police pursuing a silver pickup truck traveling south on Schifferdecker. The pickup was spiked and stopped near Coyote and Concord Lane, south of 32nd and Schifferdecker. Joplin Police requested assistance in a Felony Car Stop. Witnesses who live in the Arbor Hills Neighborhood tell us they heard a gunshot as Joplin Police closed down the road to all traffic and began a contain and call-out for the driver of the pickup. Joplin Police have not confirmed any weapons were fired. Click here to read more.

INDEPENDENCE, Kan. – A child dies after a house fire in Independence, Kansas. The fire happened on Wednesday afternoon. Cherryvale firefighters, along with crews from Independence Rural Fire, Sycamore Rural Fire and the City of Independence Fire and EMS, were dealing with a fully engulfed fire. An 8-year-old was still inside. To read more about this story, click here.

MOUND VALLEY, Kan. – Authorities say the deaths of two southeast Kansas residents are now considered homicides. On October 3, the Labette County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call. Someone found two bodies at around 8:30 a.m. while trying to check on their friends. When officers got there, they found the decomposing bodies of both a male and a female. The Kansas Bureau of Investigations released their identities. The victims have been identified as Leanda R. Pound, 43, of Mound Valley, and Jason M. Bakken, 39, of Mound Valley.

OTTAWA COUNTY, Okla. – Authorities offer $2,500 rewards for information leading to the capture of two escapees. Police consider Daniel Zajicek and Tyler Tavis armed and dangerous. They are 2 of 4 inmates who escaped Tuesday while in a dorm-style pod.

  • If you’re interested in reading more about this story, click here.
  • Click here to read a previous article about this story.


Man wanted in Homicide Investigation near Camdenton, Mo.

CAMDEN COUNTY, Mo. — A man is wanted as suspect in a Homicide investigation.

Late Tuesday night Camden County Communications Officers received a 911 call from a woman claiming her boyfriend had been hit by a car in their driveway at 494 Georgene Road, north of Camdenton.

Camden County Deputies arrived and discovered Michael S Varney, 43, deceased on the front porch of his house. During investigation it was determined Varney was killed as a result of being struck with a vehicle.

Further investigation revealed Varney had been in an argument earlier in the day with a roommate. Eyewitness accounts describe the argument as volatile. Witnesses on scene describe a vehicle striking Varney and then fleeing the scene.

The Camden County Sheriff’s Office is looking for the suspect in this case identified as Jordan Fitzgerald Jones, 32, of Camdenton. Jones is known to frequent Camdenton, Macks Creek, and Lebanon and has ties throughout the lake area.”

Jones could be driving a late 1990s green or teal extended cab Chevrolet pickup truck. The truck may have recent front end damage from the incident on Georgene Road.

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Jones has an active warrant for absconding issued by the Department of Probation and Parole.

Anyone with information concerning Jones whereabouts should contact the Camden County Detective Bureau at 573-346-2243.

Stay with Joplin News First on KOAM News Now as we continue to learn more on this breaking news story. Scroll below and sign up for our JLNews email alerts so you don’t miss an article.

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Can you identify? Suspect vehicle that fled South Connor shooting scene

JOPLIN, Mo. — Detectives of the Joplin Police Dept have compiled security video of the suspect vehicle involved in the S Connor shooting on Monday.

Information reveals a “black Ford Taurus SHO (Super High Output) with distinctive wheels and exhaust system,” Capt Will Davis states in a release of information.

He asks all to listen closely to the security video provided which features the exact vehicle moments after the shooting.


Suspect(s) should be considered armed and dangerous. If you see this vehicle in person. Do not attempt to contact the vehicle or anyone who might be in it. Call 911 or authorities immediately.

“We are asking for the help of the general public in tracking down this car or any known individual associated with this vehicle.”  If you have any information, please contact:

  • Det Sgt Luke Stahl 417-623-3131 x 1885
  • Det Sgt Shawn Dodson 417-623-3131 x 1638


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Homicide investigation, two women shot in Pittsburg, Kan.; Suspect in custody

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Late Friday night just before 11 p.m. Pitt Dispatch were alerted to reports of multiple gunshots in the 100 block of W 23rd.

Officers responded to the area and upon arrival located two female victims. Officers attempted to render medical aid to 40-year-old Stephanie Marie Short, of Pittsburg, who appeared to be suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.” —Lt. Rebekah Lynch, Pittsburg Police

First responders immediately rendered life-saving measures however Short was pronounced on scene.

A second victim, Velma Marie Cubie, 46, of Kansas City, Mo., also suffering gunshot wound was transported to a local hospital.  Lt. Lynch says the woman is currently stable.

James Cornell Hamilton, 39, of Pittsburg was taken into custody at the scene. He was booked in the Crawford County Jail on the following:

  • Murder 1st
  • Attempted Murder

Hamilton is being held on a $100,000 bond.

There is no further threat to the public.

Pittsburg Police, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and Crawford County Sheriff’s office are collaborating on the ongoing investigation. If anyone has information, contact the Pittsburg Police at 620-231-1700, or tip line, 620-231-TIPS (8477). Callers may remain anonymous.



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Sheriff Chris Jennings timeline in Homicide investigation; Murder occurred in Joplin, body transported to Newton Co.

NEWTON COUNTY, Mo. – Sheriff Chris Jennings shares a press release that details the timeline on a missing persons case that led them to Joplin where a suspect has been arrested and charged with Homicide.  Sheriff Jennings says they anticipate additional charges filed against the homeowner where the homicide victim was located 45 feet deep in a well.

“On Monday 04/25/2022, the Newton County Sheriff’s Office received information that a body had been hidden on a property in the county following a homicide in Joplin.

A search warrant was conducted at 20364 Crane Drive, Seneca Mo. The resident of that address, Eddie Fisher, was taken into custody on separate charges unrelated to this particular investigation.

Deputies continued the investigation and obtained more information about the location of the body. The Joplin Police Department was contacted to advise them of the possible homicide in their jurisdiction.

On Tuesday 04/26/2022, heavy equipment was brought in to assist as we had information the body was in a well on the property. The original equipment we utilized was not able to reach the depth we needed so on Wednesday we resorted to a drill rig with an auger bucket that could reach our desired depth. At that time we were able to locate human remains at approximately 45 foot in depth.

RELATED KOAM NEWS NOW >> Joplin Police arrest Homicide suspect related to Newton Co. missing person case; Victim excavated from well

On 03/18/2022, a missing persons report had been filed on a 36 year old named Scotty Roller. The information we had received was that the remains we located belonged to our missing person Scotty Roller and that he had been a victim of a homicide in Joplin, then brought to the house on Crane Drive.

We are awaiting positive confirmation through DNA but the victims family has been notified about our investigation. Joplin Police have arrested an individual for the homicide. Eddie Fisher remains in custody in Newton County on separate charges but we anticipate requesting additional charges on him.

I want to thank the contractors that provided their manpower and equipment to assist us. The recovery of the remains would have been impossible without them. Also, thank you to the Seneca Fire department for their assistance.”  – Sheriff Chris Jennings




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Homicide victim identified on S Jackson

JOPLIN, Mo. — The two crime scenes, six blocks apart, on Thursday we found to be related early Friday morning when Capt William Davis updated us live.

The death investigation at 2201 S Jackson was determined to be Homicide. That victim is now identified as Donald Wimer, 54, of Joplin.

With information from detectives JPD secured an arrest warrant and search warrant for the individual wanted as a suspect in the Wimer Homicide. That male was located at 2201 S Empire. He would not exit the residence.

Capt William Davis outlines the events:

“Detectives have positively identified the victim in this case as Donald Wimer, age 54 of Joplin. Next of kin has been notified. It has been determined that this was a homicide and it is believed Wimer died as a result of a gunshot related injury. An autopsy has been ordered for Mr. Wimer to determine the exact cause of death. Detectives continued their investigation and developed a suspect in the incident. On the evening of March 31st, Detectives received information that the suspect in this case was located at 2201 S. Empire Avenue in Joplin. Detectives were able to secure a search warrant for this address along with an arrest warrant related to the death investigation for the suspect. At approximately 9:30 p.m., Joplin Police Officers and Detectives attempted to get the suspect to exit the residence however those attempts were unsuccessful. The Joplin Police Department SWAT Team was activated and responded to the scene. The SWAT Team made numerous attempts to also get the suspect to exit the address, but he refused. Joplin SWAT introduced chemical munitions into the residence in an effort to force him to exit and surrender to law enforcement. During the process of inserting chemical munitions, a fire became visible from the attic area of the home. The chemical munitions utilized by the Joplin SWAT Team were non-burning/non-incendiary. Joplin SWAT Team members also reported hearing a gunshot come from inside the residence. The Joplin Fire Department was summoned to the scene and worked in conjunction with SWAT Team members to get the fire extinguished. Once conditions improved, SWAT officers were able to begin clearing the residence and located a deceased male subject in the attic of the home. The scene was turned over to Joplin Police. Detectives as they continued their investigation. No civilians, officers or firefighters were injured during the incident. The Joplin Police Department will be working in conjunction with the Joplin Fire Department and the Joplin Fire Marshal on the scene at 2201 S. Empire Avenue. The identity of the suspect is not being released at this time until proper identification and next of kin notifications are made. Detectives are not seeking any other suspects and there is no threat to the community.” — JPD

Here are our earlier articles including Capt Will Davis exclusive live updates from the crime scene:

👉🏽 2201 S Jackson Missing Persons case becomes Homicide investigation.

👉🏽 2201 S Empire Joplin SWAT seek suspect in S Jackson Homicide. Home catches fire, Joplin Fire investigate.

This is a breaking news story, stay with Joplin News First on KOAM News Now as we continue to learn more.

The Pittsburg Police Department is investigating a homicide

PITTSBURG, Kan. — The Pittsburg Police Department is investigating a homicide.

Authorities were called to an apartment on the 400 block of Broadway Street before 6:30p.m. Saturday.

Police say the caller reported a woman lying on the floor of the apartment bleeding.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police believe this is an isolated incident.

If you have any information contact the Pittsburg Police Department at 620-231-1700.