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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

Former Joplin residents accused of fraud

Monday, 17 June 2013 13:51 Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Three former Joplin residents faces federal charges accusing them of diverting relief funds after the 2011 tornado.

The U.S. Attorney's office for western Missouri said in a release Monday that 31-year-old Herlana Latham and 36-year-old Christopher L. Smith, both of Memphis, Tenn., and 30-year-old John L. Williams, of Cairo, Ill., are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud.

Prosecutors say Latham was employed by a Joplin non-profit that distributed funds to landlords who rented to clients displaced by the May 2011 tornado. Prosecutors say Latham submitted fake applications for rental payments to Smith and Williams.

The indictment cites five specific checks, ranging from $1,050 to $2,000.

Online court records don't list lawyers Latham and Williams. Smith's lawyer didn't immediately return a phone message

Woman faces charges in infant daughter's death

Monday, 17 June 2013 13:32 Published in Local News

An O'Fallon, Missouri woman is facing murder and child abuse connected to the death of her four-month-old daughter.

Court documents say Jessica Howell was allegedly willing to let her boyfriend have sex with her infant daughter. The day after prosecutors say Howell to the girl, identified as Ashlynn Peters, to her boyfriend's house, she was found strangled to death and had been sexually assaulted. Prosecutors say Howell knew her boyfriend had previously been convicted of having sex with a minor.

The boyfriend, identified as Jordan Prince, has been charged with murder and sodomy. 

Crews are exhuming the body of a young girl was was found decapitated 30 years ago.

The girl was never identified and goes by Jane Doe, as well as Hope. She was found in a vacant building in 1983, with her hands tied behind her back. Hope was buried in the Washington Park Cemetery in Berkeley, but is has become run down.

They are moving her body to the “Garden of Innocents” in Calvary Cemetery on West Florissant Rd. in north St. Louis.

Washington University researchers used old photographs to find the girl's burial place.

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