Body found after standoff near Joplin still unidentified

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — An autopsy could not determine the cause of death or the identity of a body found on property in southwest Joplin this week but authorities are treating the case as a homicide, Newton County authorities said.

The body was found after officers responding to a tip Tuesday were shot at when they tried to serve a search warrant. A standoff ensued with Freddie Tilton, 47, who eventually surrendered. No one was injured.

The remains were too decomposed to determine the person's cause of death or identity, Sheriff Chris Jennings said Friday. The remains will be sent to a lab in Topeka, Kansas, for further forensic examination, The Joplin Globe reported.

Jennings said investigators are treating the case as a homicide and believe the body is likely that of a man who had been reported missing.

Tilton and Alvin D. Boyer, 35, of Rogers, Arkansas, have been charged in federal court with kidnapping. Authorities allege Tilton assaulted a former girlfriend at the Booneslick Lodge in Neosho on July 19 after he and Boyer lured her there.