In what's believed to be a dispute over a property line, two people were found dead Saturday (June 29) in an apparent murder-suicide in Cedar Hill.
A woman was reportedly shot and burned in a house fire and a man, who was the subject of a search of the nearby woods, was found dead, apparently of self-inflicted gunshots.
The identity of the woman and the man have not been released upon confirmation of identification, said Grant Bissell, a spokesman for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
Bissell said the incident began at about 7:05 a.m. at the U-Gas convenience store at Hwy. 30 and Hwy. NN.
“We received a call from the Missouri State Highway Patrol that one vehicle had crashed into the driver’s side of a pickup truck,” Bissell said.
He said the driver of the unknown vehicle got out of his car and approached the man who was driving the pickup.
“It was a case of mistaken identity,” Bissell said. “The man told the driver of the pickup words to the effect that he (mistakenly) believed that he was his neighbor.”
Bissell said the man then drove off west on Hwy. NN.
“The second driver (of the pickup) had no idea what was going on. He was not injured. We don’t know if anyone else was in the truck with him. His truck was pretty smashed up and had to be towed away.”
Bissell said at about 8:30 a.m., the Sheriff’s Office received a call about a disturbance going on at Krshul Road close to Hwy. NN, about 5 miles west of Hwy. 30.
“The call was for a disturbance with possible shots fired,” he said. “The deputy responding to the scene first found a house engulfed in flames and saw a woman who appeared to be deceased near the home.”
Bissell said the deputy could not get any closer to the woman’s body because of the heat and intensity of the flames.
“The deputy said she definitely appeared to be deceased at that point, and her body was very burned,” he said.
Firefighters arrived at the scene and extinguished the blaze, Bissell said. He said there are no reports that anyone else might have died in the fire.
“Officers spoke with the witness (who called 911 to report the disturbance) and his description matched that of the man who drove off from the gas station,” Bissell said.
The Sheriff’s Office’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team was called out and began a search of the nearby woods.
Bissell said at about 11 a.m., a man’s body was found in the woods about 100 yards from a home on the opposite side of Krshul Road from the house that burned.
“It was determined that the man died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds,” Bissell said. “There was no use of force by any of our officers.”
Bissell said interviews with neighbors indicated that the bad blood between the parties was likely caused by a disagreement over a property line.
“We believe he (the man found in the woods) was the neighbor of the woman in the burned home,” he said. “There was an apparent ongoing dispute over something to do with property lines, and it apparently had been going on for some time.”
Bissell said he had no information whether anyone else lived with the woman in the house that burned, or whether anyone else lived with the man who committed suicide.
“There were early reports that a juvenile may have been involved in the house fire, and we’re thankful to report that that wasn’t the case,” he said.
An investigation into the incident is continuing, Bissell said.