A joint news conference by the top cops for Greene and Taney counties was held today to announce that human remains were found in a vacant rural area in eastern Taney County.

Family members say they were notified last night that they are those of Becky and Rusty Porter who went missing three months ago.

Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott has preliminary identified the remains found near Protem as the Poter's.  He says it will take about 5 days for authorities to make a positive identification through DNA.
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Taney County Sheriff Jimmie Russell says his office has been involved in the case for about six weeks and a Taney County deputy, working on information gleaned during the investigation, found the couple in an area about two miles from Cedar Creek Road near Cow Shed Ridge.
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The area is surrounded by the dense woods of  the Mark Twain National Forest and the nearest house is approximately two miles away, according to Russell.
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The bodies were found about two miles up from this rural road (courtesy KY3)
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The property is owned by someone who lives in the Forsyth area, according to Russell.

A source close to the investigation reveals that the Porter's bodies were covered with leaves and other debris when they were found.
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Neither law enforcer would not say specifically what led the investigation to Taney County, but early on in the investigation Arnott said the couple had ties to the Branson area.  "We've been searching that area on and off for some time with ATV's and watercraft.  Let's just say that there is no way we could have picked that area without some specific information leading us there," said Arnott.
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Becky Porter's daughter called authorities on April 19th.  She told authorities that she last talked to her mom on April 17th and that her mother was not feeling well.  After not being able to reach her mother for almost a full day she went to the house in Willard where she found the doors to the house open and the car keys to a newly purchased Mustang, the Porter's only mode of transportation, in the ignition.  Security cameras outside the house had been knocked down and the house reeked of bleach, according to family members.
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Family members say the Porter's installed the cameras because of a deep rift between Rusty Porter and his uncle, Robert Campbell, who lives on land adjacent to the Porter property, over a land transfer within the family.
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Campbell and Rusty Porter had each filed orders of protection against the other about a month before the Porter's disappearance - and Judge Mark Powell issued a consent judgement to each party on March 31st.  What that means is that each party was ordered to steer clear of the other.
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Arnott says the skeletal remains of the couple revealed a cause of death and investigators are now treating the case, "as a double homicide."  Although no one has been arrested in connection to the Porter's murders, Arnott says, "We have a focus."
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Family members say the couple were "executed."  Becky Porter's brother Darrell Huftt says, "They were found together."

Southwest Missouri Forensics will conduct autopsies on the remains on Monday in Springfield..
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Timeline in Porter case:
  • April 17 - Russell and Rebecca's family finds their Willard home vacant.
  • April 19 - Missing persons investigation launched.
  • May 2 - Family announces reward of up to $15,000 for information.
  • May 4 - Greene County Sheriff's Office begins digging up land on 3 properties near the Porters' home.
  • June 10 - Darrell Hufft, Rebecca's brother, denies he had anything to do with the couple's disappearance.
  • Mid June - Greene County Sheriff begins working with the Taney County Sheriff in the investigation.
  • July 17 - Family members post fliers of the couple throughout southwest Missouri asking for leads.
  • July 22 - Taney County and Greene County sheriffs hold joint news conference announcing they've found remains likely belonging to Russell and Rebecca Porter. The case is now considered a homicide investigation.
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News Release from Greene County Sheriff's Department:
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The Greene County Sheriff’s Office and the Taney County Sheriff’s Office are planning a news conference today at 2:30PM.
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Detectives with the Taney and Greene County Sheriff’s Offices along with the Taney County Coroner, Kevin Tweedy, have been conducting an investigation and have located human remains in Taney County.
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 Details of the case will be discussed at the news conference. 

3 comments:

Kristie Witthuhn said...

Hi Kathee,

My name is Kristie Witthuhn and I am a Criminal Jsutice Major at Rasmussen College. I have to conduct an interview with a crime reporter for a class I am taking. If I could have you answer about 12 questions for me that would be FANTASTIC!! Thanks for any and all help!


Here are the questions:
1. How did you get into the business of crime reporting (or whatever specific role they play)?
2. In your experience, what makes a "good" crime story or courtroom story?
3. Who decides what goes "on the air" or in print after you get the story?
4. What discrepancies have you found between what is reported – finally - and what actually occurred?
5. What types of considerations come into play as you determine what is important to report, and what should be left out of the story?
6. How do you check or confirm information you receive while investigating a story?
7. What happens if there is an error in a story?
8. What do you like best about being a crime reporter?
9. What do you like least?
10. What kind of relationship do you have with law enforcement? The courts?
11. What are the main issues you face as a crime reporter?
12. In terms of whether a story is newsworthy: How important is the gender of the victim or defendant to you and your news organization? Physical appearance? Age? Ethnic identity? Economic status? Celebrity status?

Kathee Baird said...

Hi Kristie,

If you will send an email to meyer_news@hotmail.com I will answer these questions for you.


k

Kristie said...

Thank you sooo much =)

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