Crime

Missouri Woman Facing Charges In Teenager’s Death

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Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

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WARSAW, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri woman has been charged with having illegal sex with a teenager and helping to dispose of her body last year in Truman Lake.

Court documents unsealed last week show that Amy Leigh Hartley, 37, of Buffalo in southwest Missouri, faces charges of statutory sodomy, tampering with physical evidence and abandonment of a corpse in Benton County Circuit Court.

The felony complaint shows she also is charged with endangering the welfare of a child by allowing the teen in her “uninhabitable” home, where methamphetamine was made and used “to engage in sex with multiple partners, some of whom were known by the defendant to engage in asphyxiation sex.”

After the girl’s September 2012 death, Hartley helped move the teen’s body, according to the complaint. Hartley also is accused of washing bedding in an effort to thwart investigators.

No attorney is listed for her in online court records.

Anthony James Balbirnie, a man described in court documents as Hartley’s on-again, off-again boyfriend, has been charged with second-degree murder, statutory rape, child molestation, endangering the welfare of a child, tampering with physical evidence and abandonment of a corpse.

A special prosecutor filed the charges against Balbirnie this month after the county prosecutor dropped a count alleging that he abandoned the corpse of 15-year-old Khighla Parks of Willard. The new criminal complaints against Hartley and Balbirnie identify the victim only as K.P.

Balbirnie, 48, of Springfield, is incarcerated at the state prison in Bowling Green, where he is serving time for violating parole. The Missouri State Public Defender Office didn’t immediately return a message for comment.

Probable cause statements that would provide more details have been sealed in both cases to protect the safety of some witnesses.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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