10:14 AM

The family of a man who was found shot to death inside one of their businesses has decided to close shop.

Heritage Chrysler-Jeep and Ozark Dodge will close effective tomorrow. The car dealerships were co-owned by Rufus Church. Church was found with a gunshot wound to the chest in the service bay area five weeks ago.

Ozark Police Chief Lyle Hodges said last week that his office is still investigating Church's death as a homicide but that they haven't ruled anything out. He says, "the public shouldn't be worried that there is a killer on the loose."

Investigators with the Highway Patrol and Ozark Police have sent several items off to the state crime lab to be tested. Hodges says that his office is waiting on lab results to come back, and that it could take another month before there available.
KSPR is reporting that they received a fax from Ozark Dodge that said, "both dealerships will remain open indefinitely while management continues to evaluate the restructuring possibilities of the companies."
According to the press release Kay Church, Rufus Church's wife said that downsizing was necessitated by a multitude of factors, including the recent death of her husband.
Kay Church says that an added factor is, "the current economic recession, delays by the federal government in implementing an economic stimulus plan for American auto manufacturers, and a general uncertainty in the auto industry as additional considerations which caused today's decision to reduce the respective work forces of the two auto dealerships."
Employees that I talked with at both dealerships today say that the businesses are scheduled to close tomorrow and that the service departments are no longer accepting appointments.
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