WEST PLAINS, Mo. (AP) – A man charged with fatally stabbing a woman says he dismembered her body and hid some of her remains in woods and a pond in southern Missouri, according to court records.
Walter Stewart, 63, is jailed without bond in Howell County on charges of first-degree murder, abandonment of a corpse, first-degree domestic assault and two counts of armed criminal action. The charges were filed Tuesday, one day after Stewart led authorities to the remains of the 35-year-old victim, who was not identified in the probable cause statement. No attorney is listed for him in online court records.
Police first talked to Stewart Aug. 9, when the victim’s family reported her missing saying they hadn’t heard from her in almost three weeks, Ozark Radio Network reports. Police said Stewart, of West Plains, told officers that he and the victim lived together and had been fighting. He said he believed she was talking to another man from the Memphis area and that he hadn’t seen her since around July 20.
When police returned to Stewart’s home Monday, officers said they noticed an odor consistent with decomposition and found a blood stain on the floor.
During an interview at the police department, Stewart admitted to stabbing the victim several times, then moving her to a bathroom, where he allowed her to bleed out in a bathtub, which he filled and drained several times over the course of two days. Court documents say Stewart admitted to dismembering the body and hiding portions of the remains nearby.
Stewart led police to where he had stashed the remains, according to the probable cause statement. An autopsy has been scheduled for Wednesday.
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