Press Releases


Barry County Sheriff's Office searches for woman reported missing

The Barry County Sheriff's Office asks for your help to locate a woman reported missing.

Deputies say Angelia Burns was last seen walking away from her home in Eagle Rock, Mo. on February 10. She lived in the Emo's subdivision.

Please contact the Barry County Sheriff's Office at (417) 847-3121 if you see her.

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Wheaton officer saves family from fire

A Wheaton police officer on routine patrol last week happened to drive up on something unusual that led to him taking quick action.
Wesley Kissinger, officer at Wheaton who plans to work for the McDonald County Sheriff’s Office in coming weeks, in the early morning hours Thursday, he was on Hurlbut Street making his way into town when he pulled up to a home that had flames shooting from the front porch.
“I looked up and saw the front of the house on fire,” he said. “I called in for the fire department, then left my vehicle and checked the sides and back of the house. There was one guy awake filling a bucket to dump on the flames, and another guy was about to call 911.”
Kissinger said one of the men informed him that his wife and two children, both under 8 years old, were asleep in the bedroom.
“I woke them up and got them out of the house and over to my patrol vehicle,” Kissinger said. “The Wheaton and Butterfield fire departments responded and had to get on the roof to put the fire out. I’m not sure how much damage there was inside the home.”
Kissinger said rolling up on a fire was a first for him.
“That has never happened before,” he said. “I’ve been dispatched to fires, but never had to call one in. The big thing for me is, the house can be replaced, but the people can’t. I’m just glad everyone got out safely.”
Kissinger extended special recognition to the two fire departments that responded.
“I want to recognize them for their great response time and great job putting that fire out,” he said.

Stolen card funds shopping spree

A Wentworth man is accused of racking up more than $1,000 on a debit card that didn't belong to him.
Paul Allen Bogle, 43, is facing a felony charge of fraudulent use of a credit/debit device in Barry county - though he committed the same crime five times.
A warrant was issued for his arrest last month with a $4,500 bond.
The alleged incidents with Bogle occurred Friday, Dec. 14 between 1:09 and 5:48 a.m., according to court documents. Bogle was arrested by the Carthage Police Department and had the victim's debit card in his possession.
He used the card at five places in Monett. The first was $57.60 at Casey's General Store. The second was a bank withdraw from Arvest Bank ATM in the amount of $503.75. The third use came at Pack and Go gas station, where $9.75 was spent. A second purchase at Pack and Go, five minutes after the first, totaled $22.19.
The fifth and final time as at Walmart at 5:48 a.m., tallying $444.17.
The stolen card was used five times in a span of 4 hours, 39 minutes and totaled $1,036.92.

If you have information about this case, please contact Barry County at (417) 847-3121.

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Former teacher faces 4 felonies for sex with student

Washburn woman has warrant, $40,000 cash bond

A Washburn woman is facing four felonies after allegedly having sexual intercourse with a student while serving as a substitute teacher and drama teacher at southwest High School.
Chelsie Leroy, 23, of Washburn, is charged with two counts of second-degree statutory rape and two counts of sexual contact with a student.
According to a probable cause statement filed by Det. Angela Cole, with the Barry County Sheriff's Office, the victim, who is under the age of 17, said the two had sex on school grounds on two different occasions between Sept. 20, 2018, and Sept. 27, 2018.
The victim also said Leroy had sent messages via text about two or three weeks after school started, and the two kissed two weeks after the first text. The victim said a second kiss a week later led to intercourse on Sept. 20, 2018.
A warrant has been issued for Leroy, and the bond is set at $40,000.    

Man faces 34 counts of forgery

Suspect allegedly leads police on chase in Barry County

by Kyle Troutman

A Cassville man is facing 34 counts of forgery, along with other charges, after allegedly writing numerous check to himself from a victim's bank account.
Scotty Henson, 47, of Cassville, is charged with 34 counts of forgery, financial exploitation of an elderly/disabled person, possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest.
According to a probable cause statement filed by Det. Doug Henry, with the Barry County Sheriff's Office, deputies took a stealing report that Henson had been writing checks to himself from the victim's account and cashing them in Barry County. The victim in the case is above 60 years of age, and about $4,000 total was allegedly stolen from the victim's account, according to bank records.
Henry then went to Henson's residence on Amber Street in Cassville to question Henson about the checks. Upon arrival and notification of his warrant, Henson allegedly said he was not going to jail today, got in his vehicle and fled from the home.
Henry said Henson led him on a very long car chase through several back roads and farmers' fields, with the pursuit ending on Farm Road 1201 in the Lohmar area. Henson then fled from the vehicle but was apprehended.
A black bag in the front seat allegedly contained a plastic baggie with residue that tested positive for methamphetamine.
Henson is being held in the Barry County jail on a $50,000 cash-only bond for the forgery and exploitation, and a $15,000 cash-only bond for the possession and resisting. He has been arraigned, and a disposition hearing is set for Feb. 8 at 8:30 a.m. in the courtroom of Judge Robert Foulke.

Alleged axe threat outside Purdy store results in one arrest

by Vinnie Roberts

Last week, an alleged Purdy altercation involving an axe resulted in one man's arrest. According to affidavits of probable cause by officer Russ Nichols, of the Purdy Police Department, Brian Christopher Coleman, 31 harassed the victim while brandishing a double-bladed axe. Coleman was arrested at approximately 7:27 p.m. on Thursday, January 31.
According to the affidavits, at approximately 6 p.m. on January 31, Coleman was in a store on Business Highway 37 at the same time as the victim. Coleman allegedly made comments to the victim as they passed in the doorway.
Coleman told the officer he felt threatened for his safety and walked away to his vehicle. Coleman then retrieved a double-bladed axe from his vehicle and walked back toward the victim, according to the report.
The affidavits state Coleman brandished the weapon, attempting to entice victim into attacking him.
Coleman is currently being held at the Barry County Jail on a $25,000 cash-only bond for harassment in the 1st degree and unlawful use of a weapon - exhibiting, both felonies.

Sheriff's office seeking suspects in armed robbery

by Charlea Estes-Jones

The Barry County Sheriff's Office is seeking tips regarding an armed robbery of the Viney Creek Store on Monday, February 11, around 1:35 p.m. The Viney Creek Store is located at the end of Missouri Highway J.
According to Major Leonard Collins, of the Barry County Sheriff's Department, the two suspects displayed a knife to the cashier before taking her cell phone and fleeing.
Collins said, "They didn't get money or anything else except for her cell phone."
The Sheriff's Office also shared information on their Facebook page, stating, "Two men dressed in black entered the store with masks on and threatened the clerk with a weapon: The post went on to ask for anyone who saw suspects wearing the clothing mentioned or people walking away from the store around that time to contact the Sheriff's office.
Collins confirmed the detectives with the department are still looking for leads to find the suspects involved. He said, "The clerk couldn't get enough of a description for us to pinpoint any possible suspects. We have no suspects to look for tat this time, so if anyone has any information, we'd be glad to follow up on it."
If you have information regarding the robbery, contact the Barry County Sheriff's Office at (417) 847-6556 or through Barry-Lawrence County Crime Stoppers at 1 (888) 635-TIPS, Tipsters can remain anonymous.

Armed robber captured in Purdy

Aurora man steals money from King Cash Saver, flees on foot

An Aurora man is being held in the Barry County jail after allegedly robbing the King Cash Saver in Purdy using a knife, then fleeing on foot.
James Owens, 28, of Aurora, is charged with first-degree robbery and armed criminal action.
According to a press release from the Purdy Police Department, Cpl. Russ Nichols was dispatched to King Cash Saver in Purdy at about 5:59 p.m. on Wednesday after a report of a male suspect entering the store, brandishing a knife and ordering the cashier to put money from the register in a plastic bag.
Deputies from the Barry County Sheriff's Office, Wheaton Police Department and Purdy Police chief Jackie Lowe assisted in a sweep of the city of Purdy searching for the suspect, who fled the scene on foot.
Deputies located Owens, a male fitting the description walking down Ninth Street near Monroe Street, and he was detained. During a search for weapons, Owens was found to have a large amount of cash. He was brought back to the grocery store and positively identified by a witness as the alleged robber.
Another search nearby yielded clothing allegedly worn by Owens during the crime and a plastic bag still containing some money from the store. The weapon allegedly used in the robbery has not been located.
Owens is being held in the Barry County jail on a $75,000 bond.
"We would like to thank the Barry County Sheriff's Department, and the Wheaton Police Department for their quick response, and assistance in apprehending the robbery suspect," The Purdy Police Department press release said.

ODET releases end of 2018 statistics

The Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team (ODET) released the statistics for 2018. ODET is made up of eight detectives that covers five counties. The counties covered by ODET are Jasper, Barton, Newton, McDonald and Barry. The primary function of ODET is to dismantle large scale drug trafficking organizations. Some of these organizations are directly connected to drug cartels in Mexico.

Over 95 percent of the methamphetamine seized in United States today is manufactured in Mexico. ODET is major layer in the war on these organizations and works closely with FBI, DEA and ATF on the dismantling of these organizations.

In 2018, ODET detectives seized 6,230 grams of methamphetamine (roughly 14 pounds) with a street value of $623,000. ODET detectives seized 33,448 grams of high-grade marijuana (roughly 74 pounds) with a street value of $259,000.

ODET detectives served 111 search warrants and arrested 134 suspects for possession of methamphetamine. ODET detectives seized 177 firearms and arrested 144 fugitives on outstanding warrants. ODET detectives were responsible for the indictments of 13 suspects in 2018.

If anyone has drug information that they believe could be helpful to ODET, call at (417) 624-9365 or call your local agency. ODET is supported by grants and local agency contributions and cannot be operated without that support.

Commander Chad Wilson, with ODET, said, "I want to thank each agency and community that participates in ODET and we look forward to serving your coverage area in 2019."

Purdy man charged with burglary

A Purdy resident, Justin Todd Taylor, 45, was apprehended last week under suspicion of the crime of burglary and stealing.
On November 30, the Barry County Sheriff's Department conducted a follow up on a separate burglary at a building on State Highway 76 in Wheaton. Taylor was reportedly inside the building when officers went to investigate.
The officer reported a pile of electrical wires and copper tubing sitting in a chair in the building. There were also several machines in the building that appeared to have the electrical wires and copper tubing cut and removed.
Taylor allegedly admitted to making the pile of tubing and wires.
Officers reported Taylor entered the building unlawfully with the intent to steal the electrical wires and copper tubing from the machines. Taylor had previous burglary and theft convictions.
Taylor is charged with burglary in the second degree. He is currently held in the Barry County Jail in lieu of a $50,000 cash-only bond.

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