Christopher Blevins Mercedes Splichal
Authorities in Barry and Stone County Missouri, Carroll County Arkansas and Madison County Tennessee have been involved in the search for Christopher Blevins and Mercedes Splichal for nearly two weeks. The couple was wanted for a string of crimes committed in those jurisdictions, including residential burglaries and numerous auto thefts.
Blevins, 32 and Splichal, 24, of Golden and Eureka Springs respectively, were captured Wednesday afternoon, 6-14, just north of Shell Knob after a short manhunt.
Law enforcement in our area had been on the lookout for the couple for nearly two weeks and had responded to numerous sightings of the pair.
A sighting Wednesday afternoon led to the capture. Blevins walked to the door of a home down a dead end lane, possibly looking for a vehicle to steal or to burglarize the home. When the homeowners answered the door, he told them that his vehicle had broke down and he needed help. Blevins was carrying a rifle in his hands and had a revolver in a holster on his hip.
The homeowners told him that they couldn't help him and Blevins walked away, down the lane. The homeowners reported the contact to 911 and deputies responded.
While three Barry County Detectives were on scene with the original callers, a second sighting was reported a short distance down the road. The caller on this sighting reported that the same man was walking around an empty house, checking the doors, looking as if he were trying to get into the house. Detectives and a Missouri Highway Patrol Sergeant responded immediately. Detectives noticed a Dodge minivan backing out of a driveway a very short distance down the road from the second sighting and stopped that vehicle, finding Christopher Blevins in the process of stealing what is believed to be at least the fifth vehicle in this spree.
Blevins was arrested at gunpoint and taken into custody without any violence. At the time of Blevins' arrest, he was armed with a .357 magnum revolver in a holster on his hip and a .44 magnum rifle in the front seat of the van, next to him. Blevins also had suspected methamphetamine in his pocket at the time of his arrest.
After he was taken into custody, Blevins provided information regarding the location of Splichal, who was hiding and waiting for Blevins in the Piney Creek area. Blevins was trying to steal another vehicle and would pick her up after doing so.
MSHP Trooper and a Conservation Agent followed Blevins' directions and were able to take Splichal into custody without any violence. Splichal was armed with a .22 caliber semi automatic rifle at the time of her arrest.
Blevins also provided information regarding the pickup he had been driving earlier in the day when he was able to outrun a Barry County Deputy. This truck was eventually located over a mile down a Forest Service trail, heavily damaged. The truck was found to have been stolen in Madison County Tennessee.
Police in Brownsville Tennessee, acting on information provided by Blevins, located a Ford F-350 truck stolen on 6-6-17 from Harps in Seligman. The .357 on Blevins person at the time of his arrest was in this truck when it was stolen.
Both Blevins and Splichal are currently being held in the Barry County Jail on charges from both Barry County Missouri, and Carroll County Arkansas. Additional charges from multiple other jurisdictions are expected.
Master Sergeant Carl T. Cosper Jr.
The Barry County Sheriff’s Office and Ozark Funeral Homes announce services for Master
Sergeant Carl T. Cosper Jr. Visitation will be Wednesday April 12th from 4:00pm to 8:00pm
at Ozark Funeral Home, 100 Spring St., Anderson Missouri.
The funeral service will be held on Thursday April 13th at 1:00 pm at Grace Life Church, 258
Royce St, Anderson Missouri.
There will be no graveside services. Obituary is included later in this release.
Any media interested in covering the service can stage at the corner of Harper and Royce
Streets in Anderson. Out of respect for the family and their privacy, please no media on
Refer questions to 816-592-3207, Missouri Law Enforcement Funeral Assistance Team.
Please do not contact the sheriff’s office directly for information regarding services.
Sheriff Gary Davis
Carl Thomas Cosper, Jr., 56 years, of Pineville, Missouri, passed away on Friday, April 7, 2017, as a result of an
automobile accident in Seligman, Missouri.
Carl was born on March 30, 1961 at Tulsa, Oklahoma to Carl Thomas Cosper, Sr. and Sylvia Ann (Peak) Cosper. He married Angela Lewis on September 5, 1986 at Pineville, Missouri. Carl began his career in law enforcement in 1994 where he worked several years at the McDonald County Sheriff's Department. He was a Master Sergeant Deputy Sheriff with Barry County Sheriff's Department for 10 years of duty. He loved spending time with his dog, Bubba. Carl did
mechanical work, just finishing his roadster. Carl loved working on guns; cooking, doing woodworking, making cedar
chests for the Angel Tree Project in Cassville, Missouri. He was a firearms instructor and conducted conceal and carry classes.
He was preceded in death by his father, Carl T. Cosper Sr.
Carl is survived by his wife of 30 years, Angela Cosper of the home; his son, Robert Allen Cosper and wife, Jennifer Sunny Kendall of Neosho, Missouri; his mother, Sylvia Ann Cosper of Pineville, Missouri; his brothers, Brian Cosper
and wife, Tammy, Sherrill Dee Cosper, both of Pineville, Missouri; sister, Jillian Smith and Husband, Buddy of Rogers,
Arkansas; many nieces and nephews; along with a host of other relatives and friends who will dearly miss Carl.
Funeral services for Carl will be held at 1:00 pm on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at the Grace Life Church in Anderson,
Missouri. Pastor Jamey Cope will officiate. Cremation will follow the service. Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 8:00
pm on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 in the Anderson Chapel of the Ozark Funeral Homes. The family will receive friends
at this time.
Master Sergeant Carl T. Cosper
The Barry County Sheriff's Office is mourning the loss of one of its own today. Master Sergeant Carl T. Cosper was killed when his patrol car was involved in an accident while responding to a call on Friday April 7th around 10:45 am. Deputy Cosper was a patrol officer with the Sheriff's Office for the past 10 years, he also served as the Sheriff's Office training and firearms instructor. He was a conceal and carry instructor and well known within the community for the classes he taught. Besides his training rolls, he was also a friend and a mentor to his fellow workers, his passing is a big loss to our department. He was a big man with an even bigger heart and will be missed by his law enforcement family. Our prayers are with the Cosper family.
Landon Dallas Long
On 3/27/17 at approximately 1:30 pm, Barry County 911 received a call from Marie Miller of
a man pointing a rifle at her car while traveling north on Highway 37. Ms. Miller advised that
she was passing the vehicle when it began to come over into her lane. She honked her horn and her son,
Marc yelled out the window for the other driver to watch where he was going. Ms. Miller
advised that was when the driver of the other car pointed a rifle out of the window toward her
vehicle. Ms. Miller than sped away and called 911. Also in the vehicle was Marc Miller's 6 month
Central dispatch then advised Deputy David Ruark of the incident. Deputy Ruark was in the vicinity and was
able to make contact with the suspect vehicle in the driveway of George's Hatchery on W Highway east of
Highway 37 in Butterfield and take the suspect, Landon Dallas Long into custody without incident. The rifle
used in the incident was laying in the passenger seat of the suspect vehicle. The rifle was not loaded but was
cocked as if ready to fire. Ammunition of the rifle was also loaded in the vehicle.
Landon Dallas Long, age 22 of Cassville, Missouri has been arrested and charged with Unlawful Use of a Weapon, a Class E Felony and Endangering the Welfare of a Child in the First Degree, a Class D. Felony. Bond has been set at $20,000 cash only.
On 01/25/2017 the Ozark Drug Enforcement Team and Barry County SWAT served a Search Warrant at 8724 Farm Road 2030 in Monett, Missouri. The warrant led to the arrest of 3 people and the seizure of 13.5 grams of suspected methamphetamine, 51 hydrocodone pills, and 37 clonazepam.
Danny Rogers, 65 was charged with Possession of a Controlled substance with intent to distribute. Cam Banks, 47 was arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance and for a Parole Violation Warrant. Woody Weatherford., 49 was arrested on a Parole Violation Warrant. All three suspects were transported to the Barry County jail.
The Barry County Sheriff's Office responded to a missing person call at 5:00 pm on Friday evening. Deputy Taylor Lombard and Cpl. Scott Salkill were dispatched to Eagle Rock to attempt to locate 73 year old William Adams. Mr. Adam's wife stated that he left the house to go bow hunting down M Hwy. Mr. Adam's truck was located in a field at State Hwy M and Rock Creek Road. It appeared that Mr. Adam's had gotten confused about where he was at and kept walking.. The Carroll County Search and Rescue K-9's attempted to track Mr. Adams from his truck but lost the trail. Joplin Search and Rescue's K-9 also joined in the search. Sheriff Epperly stated that along with the 2 K-9 units from Carroll County and Joplin, Several Barry County Sheriff's Office Deputies, Eagle Rock Fire, Central Crossing Fire Dept., Missouri Conservation and LOTS of volunteers joined in on the search Friday evening for Mr. Adams. Barry County 911 attempted to PING Mr. Adams cell phone and also spoke with Mr. Adams to try to figure out his whereabouts. Sheriff Epperly stated that after a while, the cell phone went dead and the search continued til around 3 am Saturday Morning and was called off due to the time of morning and fear that some of the searchers might get lost. Sheriff Epperly states that the search resumed at 5 am Saturday Morning with ATV's, K-9's ,Horseback Riders and lots of volunteers on foot. Mr. Adam's was located around 11 am on Saturday at Mossy Oak's Property on Farm Road 1230 close to Turkey Mountain One in Shell Knob, Mo by some of the Eagle Rock Fire Dept. personnel. Sheriff Epperly states that he transported Mr. Adams to the Mercy Ambulance located on FR 1230 to be checked out. Mr. Adams was in pretty good condition for someone his age who had walked several miles overnight. He was dehydrated from lack of water and Mr. Adams stated that he was really lost. Sheriff Epperly would like to thank all the agencies who came out to help locate Mr. Adams along with all the volunteers who walked and searched for Mr. Adams. I am glad to live in a great community where everyone comes out in times like this to help other people.
The Barry County Sheriff’s Office will upgrade its text message alert notification feature on October 3rd to supplement an upgrade completed earlier this summer. The upgraded text alert system will feature a short URL in the message body, instead of a full URL. The messages will continue to come from 96167 or 470-219-3777. Below is an example of a current alert with a full URL and a sample of the same alert with a short URL:
As shown above, the message body will have a Subject line (the Press Release title, in the above example) and a From address of Barry Sheriff MO. There will still be an option to change subscription at the bottom of the message.
To sign up for alert notifications from our office, to change your current subscription, or to unsubscribe from our alerts, please go to our Sign Up for Alerts page.
The Barry County Sheriff’s Office welcomes any feedback from the community on this text alert upgrade. To provide feedback, please let us know through our Contact Us form or call us at 417-847-6556.
As always, we wish to thank the public for their continued support of law enforcement. We believe the unique partnership we have between the public and law enforcement enhances the security and quality of life we all enjoy.
Sheriff Mick Epperly
The Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team (ODET) while conducting a drug investigation in Barry County on July 14, 2016 arrested 3 subjects. ODET detectives responded to 18348 Highway E in Eagle Rock, MO to investigate an open narcotics investigation. Detectives contacted the homeowner identified as Beverly Ball of Eagle Rock. After further investigation, Ball was found to be in possession of 2 ounces of suspected high grade marijuana. After further investigation, ODET detectives located 126 pills that were suspected schedule II narcotics. The pills were bagged for sales and not in a prescription bottle.
While still conducting the investigation at Ball's residence, Amber Souder of Washburn showed up and was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia and had 2 active warrants for her arrest. A short time later Robert Purdom of Cassville arrived at the residence and was also found to be in possession of Drug Paraphernalia. All 3 suspects were transported to Barry County Jail where charges are pending with the Barry County Prosecutor. Ball was charged with possession with intent to distribute and Souder along with Purdom was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. The street value of the pills seized was approximately $2600.00
Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly announces that an arrest has been made in an ongoing
cattle theft and animal abuse case.
Greg L. DeJager, 35, Greenfield MO, was arrested in Lawrence County by the Missouri State
Highway Patrol Thursday, June 2nd on unrelated charges of Passing a Bad Check.
While DeJager was being held in the Lawrence County Jail, Felony Stealing and Animal
Neglect charges from Barry County were issued and DeJager is being held on those charges
also, in lieu of $10,000 bond.
The investigation began on May 22nd when DeJager reported over 50 head of cattle stolen
or missing from a farm he leased near Wheelerville in Barry County. DeJager had been
contracted to take care of the cattle by the owners, who live in Nebraska and were paying
DeJager a per head fee to care for the cattle. Detective Henry began looking into the case
and working with the owners of the cattle, determined that DeJager's story initially given to
the Sheriff's Office was not the truth. On May 26th, Detective Henry, along with Detectives
Terry Meek and Robert Evenson, served a search warrant on the property leased by DeJager
on Farm Road 2080 near Wheelerville. The property is approximately 800 acres. Sheriff's
Office personnel were assisted by the cattle owners as well as "Cowboys" on horseback.
DeJager was not present when the warrant was served. During the service of the warrant,
the remaining cattle were collected and loaded onto trucks and moved to a location where
they could be held and rehabilitated. The condition of the live cattle were horrible, with the
adult cows emaciated and starving. A veterinarian who was on the scene indicated that the
calves looked to be in good health generally, but the adult cattle were not being cared for
correctly, not being fed enough and were in poor health due to neglect. A total of 365 head
of Cows, calves and bulls were removed from the property and returned to their rightful
owner. It is believed that at least 125 head were still missing. During the service of the
search warrant, Detectives located at least 40 dead cattle in various stages of decomposition.
Some were in open wooded areas and others had been buried or partially buried by a bulldozer.
During the investigation, it was learned that DeJager had advertised in various online pages
and sites and offered his services to cattle owners to take care of their cattle for a fee.
Investigators believe that DeJager collected the fees and then did not properly take care of
the cattle. Investigators also believe that DeJager may have moved and/or sold off a number
of the cattle entrusted to his care and then reported them stolen to the legitimate owners.
DeJager is the first to be arrested in this scheme and additional arrests are expected as the
investigation progresses. Investigators also believe that persons and property involved in this
case are spread through Barry, Lawrence and Dade Counties, and may possibly be in an even
On January 4, 2016, Roaring River Park Ranger Steven Jabben requested Detective Doug Henry assist
him at the Roaring River Nature Center. The Nature Center had been burglarized overnight and several
items including 11 Chainsaws, a Big Bear Yamaha All Terrain 4 Wheeler, Indian Artifacts, Laptop Computer
and numerous power and hand tools had been stolen. Detective Henry and Ranger Jabben processed the
scene, then on January 25th, the state crime lab contacted Ranger Jabben and stated they were able
to pull a print off a can of tree marking paint that had been used in the burglary and was able to get a
positive match through AFIS belonging to 44 year old Rodney Leon Evans of Berryville, AR.
Detective Doug Henry and Rob Evenson along with Ranger Jabben contacted the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office
to assist at the Rodney Evans residence. Carroll County was able to get consent to search from Rodney Evans.
Deputies recovered several items from the Evans residence that were stolen from the Nature Center. Further
investigation revealed that more items from the burglary had been taken to another residence in Oak Grove, AR.
Oak Grove Chief of Police, Jason Hunt assisted Barry County Deputies and Ranger Jabben in recovering more items
and another suspect, 54 year old Terry Dean Kline was arrested. Deputies recovered 7 chainsaws, the Yamaha all terrain 4 wheeler, numerous artifacts, and numerous
power and hand tools, all stolen from the Nature Center. Estimated recovery value of $28,000.00
Deputies also recovered a trailer that was reported stolen off 248 hwy in Barry County.
Warrants were obtained from Evans and Kline with a $30,000 cash only bond set on each.
Evans and Kline both signed waivers of extradition and are currently in the Barry County Jail.
Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly stated that several agencies worked together and assisted each other with this case and the end result was recovered property and arrests made.