6:50 PM

BREAKING-UPDATED~Homicide Investigation Underway In Branson:

By Kathee Baird
December 10, 2014

Westwood Inn homicide Kurt Olson2
courtesy of Kurt Olson

Branson, Mo.-  Authorities in Branson confirm they are working a homicide at a motel on the west side of the city near the Pierce Arrow Theater.
About 3:17  p.m. police responded to the Westwood Inn at 3033 Shepard of the Hills Expressway.  “Upon arrival officers discovered a deceased white female,” said Sgt. Daniel Kingsbury.  Kingsbury says officers went to the motel “to investigate an unknown problem.”  Kingsbury says a man is in custody.  No additional arrests are anticipated.
Kurt Olson, the drummer at a nearby theater, stayed at the hotel recently.   “Sometimes on the road I get to stay in glamorous places– but sometimes I stay in cheap motels.  I was at this place for a couple weeks to save money and be close to work. I checked out last week because of the sketchiness.”

courtesy Kurt Olson
courtesy Kurt Olson

Some guests at the hotel say they were told by police that the woman was stabbed twice.  Olson says he was told the woman, who he believes was from Arkansas and was a guest at the motel while he was staying there, was stabbed 12 times and that the suspect in custody stole a police vehicle.

Westwood Inn map

A pair of crutches were inside an evidence bag outside the room and another pair were propped up against the outside wall of the room where the woman was found dead as investigators continued to collect evidence this evening.
The woman’s name has not been released pending the notification of next of kin.  Kingsbury would not say whether the victim or the person in custody were locals or visitors to the tourist town.
An official news release will be issued tomorrow, according to Kingsbury.
The following statement was released by Kingsbury this evening:
At approximately 1517 hours, the Branson Police Department responded to the Westwood Inn (3033 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway) to investigate an unknown problem.  Upon arrival, officers discovered a deceased white female.  The manner and cause of death is still under investigation.  A suspect has been taken into custody and is currently being held at the Branson Police Department.  The identity of the victim is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.  No additional information at this time.  The investigation is ongoing.
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