This blog will mainly focus on crime in and around Southwest Missouri....Winner Of Springfield Blogger's Association: ROOKIE BLOG OF THE YEAR 2009--WINNER News or Current Events Blog Of The Year 2010
A deeply religious mother and her daughter from Springfield have allegedly confessed to killing two family members with anti-freeze and gravely injuring another during the last 14 months.
Authorities first charged Diane Staudte, 51, with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree assault and one count of armed criminal action yesterday (06-22-13). Today, prosecutors charged her daughter, Rachel Staudte, 22, with identical charges.
According the the probable cause statement, an anonymous tipster called authorities on June 11th and said Diane Staudte -a clinical review supervisor for UnitedHealth Group - "was possibly responsible for two or three homicides." The caller discussed the deaths of Stuadtes husband, Mark, son Shaun and the recent hospitalization of her daughter, Sarah.
Sarah Staudte (courtesy Facebook)
Doctors say Sarah, 24, was unresponsive when she was brought to the hospital and she had "near fatal PH levels." A nurse described Diane Staudtes, who had only visited Sarah briefly a few times, actions as "inappropriate," saying she joked and laughed with hospital personnel. The nurse also told Detective Neal McAmis that Diane Staudte "did not seem concerned about Sarah" and told her she had plans to go on vacation to Florida in the upcoming week, and would go regardless of her daughter's status. A doctor told the detective that Sarah Staudtes condition was "very suspicious." He said she had been undergone multiple tests for conditions with similar symptoms, but those tests had all come back negative and he suspected the young woman had been poisoned.
Armed with that information, McAmis began reviewing calls made to the Staudte household. On Easter Sunday 2012, authorities were called to 2444 W. Page about a deceased person. Diane Staudte told cops that her 61 year-old husband, Mark Staudte, had been ill for several days and had suffered three seizures on the day he died.
Mark Stuadte, who had no previous history of seizures and was in a band ironically called "Messing With Destiny,"had blood around his mouth - but no outward signs of injury or trauma to his body. The Greene County Medical Examiner ruled his April 8th death was due to natural causes.
Almost 5 months later authorities were again called to the Staudte home at 1644 W. Swan for another medical emergency on a Sunday. This time authorities found 26 year-old Shaun Staudte dead on his bedroom floor.
Shaun Staudte (courtesy Facebook)
When she returned home, she told a police officer she found Shaun curled up on the floor of his bedroom with a blanket covering his mid-section. She said she did not take her son to the doctor during the time he was ill because he "was able to stay hydrated," and that he had suffered a seizure in the days leading up to his death.
Shaun Staudte, who is not on hismotheror sister's Facebook friends list, was also found with blood around the outside of his mouth. The Greene County Medical Examiner ruled his death was "the result of prior medical issues."
Diane and Rachel Staudte were very active in the choir and orchestra at Redeemer Lutheran Church. Diane, a devout Lutheran and assistant director of the Springfield Sanctuary Choir, is a prolific Facebook poster. She made the following post to her Facebook wall on Wednesday: "Sarah update: out of ICU and able to walk a little." She also posts a lot of motivational and spiritual posts on her wall like, "Lord, Wrap your arms around my family and draw us close to you. Amen." She has also posted cryptic messages like, "Family isn't always blood, it's the people who want you in theirs."
Brianna, Sarah and Rachel Staudte (courtesy Facebook) -
Pastor Jeff Sippy madethe following post to the above picture on October 9, 2012: "Public affirmation of your children is a great gift of live (life) to them and model for others. Thank you!!" When Diane Staudte was interviewed by police on June 20th, she initially denied involvement in the death and poisoning of her daughter. Court documents say that during the course of the interview "she began to change her story" and eventually admitted that she researched how to use anti-freeze to kill someone on the Internet and then used the liquid to poison them all.
She allegedly told McAmis that she put the deadly liquid in her husband of 27 years'Gatorade over a three day period because, "she hated him." She says she put the sweet tasting liquid poison in Shaun's, who she says was "worse than a pest, Cokes over a two day period. Sarah's sodas were laced with anti-freeze over a four day period, according to the probable cause statement. She said she wanted to kill her daughter because she "would not get a job and had student loans that had to be paid," according to court documents.
Diane Staudte originally told police she was the only one involved and that it was "all her evil." When Rachel Staudte, 22, was interviewed she at first denied any involvement in the murders of her father and brother and the assault on her sister. When confronted with evidence that investigators had obtained, Rachel admitted she was involved in the deadly scheme. When Rachel Staudte,22, was confronted with evidence, she admitted to taking part in the deaths of her father and brother and the assault of her sister. According to the probable cause statement, she told authorities that she and mother "doctored" her family members drinks after she and her mother "did their research on the Internet and decided to use anti-freeze because it was hard to detect and could easily be mixed in the victims' drinks."
During a subsequent interview, Diane Staudte she "eventually admitted that she and Rachel had planned, researched and committed the crimes together," the statement said. Shaun Staudte posted this cryptic message on his Facebook page on April 4, 2012, "Family members cannot be a person's true friends. My true friends are the people on my Facebook account." A friend of Diane Staudte posted this message on her Facebook wall today: "We, as your friends, cannot possibly understand what happened, but I, for one, will be praying for you & your family." Prosecutor's have not announced whether they will seek the death penalty against either one of the women at this time. UPDATE 4-23-14: Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson filed official notice that he will seek the death penalty against Diane Staudte.