The case of the found remains of an unidentified white woman is now being treated as a homicide investigation following the receipt of a preliminary autopsy report.
Pettis County Sheriff Kevin Bond told the Democrat Thursday that a forensic anthropologist with the Boone County Medical Examiner’s is still working with the remains, which were discovered in two separate locations at Goodwill Chapel Trailer Park on Sunday.
An autopsy report from the Boone County Medical Examiner’s Office indicated the human remains found Sunday at the Goodwill Chapel Trailer Park are from a single body of a white female. A forensic anthropologist was called in after the medical examiner’s autopsy to complete further analysis, which could provide information on when the victim died.
“We are hopeful the pathologist will be able to give us an approximate age of the victim,” Bond said. “In addition to that we will be forwarding the victim’s DNA to the Missouri Highway Patrol Crime Lab so they can run it through their DNA database. Hopefully we will be able to get a match on that.”
The remains were first discovered by park maintenance workers outside Trailer No. 19, the former residence of Joseph F. Arbeiter, 65, who was arrested at the residence on April 30 and charged with attempted rape, sodomy, three counts of assault, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of armed criminal action. He is currently being held at the Pettis County Jail on a $500,000 bond.
Additional remains of the unknown female victim were discovered by a Pettis County deputy in a wooded area near the trailer later in the day Sunday.
However, Bond said he is not yet naming Arbeiter a suspect in the investigation and declined to comment on whether investigators have questioned Arbeiter regarding the remains.
“We are looking at him as well as other people,” Bond said. “The information is slow coming, but we want to make sure we are covering all the bases. It is a methodical process and we are working diligently on it.”
Bond said there are no recent missing person reports in the area, noting that he does not believe at this time that the case is related to the 2008 disappearance of Dana Bruce, of Sedalia.
Investigators returned to the scene on Tuesday and recovered an additional piece of evidence based on a tip from a resident at the park. Additional items were reportedly removed from both inside and outside the trailer by investigators on Sunday and Monday.
“Most of the work we have done is based on what was recovered or what we learned processing the crime scene as well as canvassing the area on Sunday,” Bond said.
Sheriff Bond urges anyone with information regarding this case to contact the Pettis County Crime Stoppers TIPS Hotline at 660-827-TIPS, or call the Pettis County Sheriff’s Office at 660-827-0052.