Two charged after missing Missouri woman's body found

PARIS, Mo. (AP) — Two people have been charged in the shooting death of a northeast Missouri who was reported missing last week.

Jerry Asbell, 29, was charged Saturday with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Amanda Johnston, 32, Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney Talley Kendrick Smith said .

Jessica Ellsworth, 37, was charged with felony tampering with evidence in the case. Johnston and the suspectst are all from Montgomery City.

Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Eric Brown said Johnston’s body was found off a rural Pike County road early Saturday after a four-day search.

Johnston went missing Wednesday from her Monroe City home. Brown said officers responding to a burglary call mobilized the the Northeast Missouri Major Case Squad, as evidence indicated that Johnston’s was likely the victim of a crime, The Hannibal Courier-Post reported.

A probable cause statement said Johnston apparently was shot to death at St. Jude Cemetery in Monroe City early Saturday. Investigators believe Asbell drove Johnston's body away from the cemetery to where her body was found.

Police allege that Ellsworth helped Asbell remove Johnston’s body from the cemetery.


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