The search for a missing 21-year-old woman has been completed and an investigation into her murder has begun, according to Missouri authorities.
Jessi Wilfong was reported missing by her mother on May 25 and was last seen on May 19.
The sheriff’s office launched an investigation into the young woman’s disappearance, which eventually led them to a barn near a house outside Cape Girardeau, according to the June 22 statement.
Inside, their eyes were drawn to the ground, to a patch of land that looked recently disturbed, the sheriff’s office said. Investigators searched the site and their suspicions proved justified – a hole had been dug and Wilfong’s remains were found.
Two days later, on June 20, an autopsy confirmed that Wilfong was a homicide victim, the sheriff’s office said.
The barn sits near a home in Millersville, the outlets reported, a community about 18 miles northwest of Cape Girardeau.
It is the same house where Wilfong was last seen, and the residence of Teresa Baumgartner and Lawrence Schanda, KFVS reported. Schanda is Wilfong’s uncle and Baumgartner is his girlfriend, the station said.
Investigators believe Baumgartner and Schanda disposed of Wilfong’s body, according to documents obtained by KFVS.
In an interview with deputies on June 8, Schanda said he argued with Wilfong on the day of his disappearance, accusing him of providing law enforcement with information implicating him in related crimes. to drugs, the Southeast Missourian reported.
Police then obtained a warrant to search the Millersville home, the newspaper reported.
Evidence tampering charges have been filed against Baumgartner, the sheriff’s office said. As of June 23, no murder charges have been announced, and investigators have not said how Wilfong may have died or who killed her.
“The investigation is still ongoing and additional charges are expected against one or more individuals,” the office said in a statement.