Eldon man charged in ex-girlfriend’s death

Nearly two years after her body was found, an Osage Beach woman’s former boyfriend was charged this week with second-degree murder in her death.

Brandi June Mathews, who was 24 when she disappeared, had been missing for more than two years before her remains were found.

Prosecutors on Wednesday charged Kelly R. Simino, 43, Eldon, with the class A felony in Mathews’ death.

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Kelly R. Simino

If he’s convicted of the charge, Missouri law sets the punishment at either life in prison, or between 10 and 30 years in prison.

Members of her family last saw Mathews in September 2006.

On March 19, 2008, her mother, Deanna Roberts, reported Mathews missing to the Osage Beach Police Department and stated Mathews and Simino had lived in Lincoln, Ark., in September 2006 and had moved to Osage Beach.

The case remained at a standstill until some of her remains were found in January 2009, under a low-water bridge in rural Miller County near Eldon.

According to a probable cause statement prepared by Osage Beach police, Mathews and Simino were involved in an intimate relationship before and at the time of her disappearance.

The statement also noted that a witness saw Mathews and Simino together, at an Eldon residence, around Sept. 22-23, 2006.

But witnesses and police reports indicated the relationship between Mathews and Simino was frequently violent, the statement said, with several documented incidents in which Simino was violent or abusive toward Mathews, starting in January 2006.

Mathews had reported to the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office that she had been assaulted by Simino and that she had sought medical attention.

On May 3, 2006, Mathews made a police report with the Warsaw, N.C., Police Department that Simino had assaulted her.

The Osage Beach Police probable cause statement then noted that, on May 18, 2006, Mathews made a police report with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office in Warrensburg concerning a confrontation that Simino initiated.

The next day, a police report was made with the same jurisdiction that Simino made threats against Mathews.

On Aug. 20, 2006, Mathews made a police report with the Sedalia Police Department concerning a burglary of her residence by Simino.

Then, in August 2006, Mathews filed for an order of protection in Pettis County against Simino.

According to the probable cause statement, a witness reported on Dec. 17, 2008, that Simino had made an unsolicited visit to the witness’ residence during September or October 2006.

During that visit, the witness said, Simino was emotional and said he had killed Mathews by choking her or breaking her neck.

In an interview with Miller County investigators, another witness said Simino admitted in the summer of 2008 he accidentally broke Mathews’ neck and killed her.

In mid-August 2006, Mathews provided information to law enforcement in Eldon leading to Simino’s arrest for narcotics.

On Aug. 16, Mathews obtained an order of protection against Simino after she assisted in his arrest.

The probable cause statement noted that a witness observed an assault in the fall of 2006 near the Salem Road bridge in Eldon.

The witness said a man and woman were fighting and that the male appeared to be choking the female. The witness said the woman broke out of the male’s grasp and ran to the back side of a black car.

That witness identified the woman as Mathews, based on photos in subsequent news accounts. Simino was later identified by the witness in a photo lineup.

Mathews’ remains were found in January 2009 a short distance upstream from the bridge.

Simino is being held at the Miller County Adult Detention Center on a $500,000 bond.

The Miller County Sheriff’s Department conducted a two-year investigation with assistance from agencies, including the Osage Beach Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Morgan County Sheriff’s Department, Mid-Missouri Drug Task Force and Missouri Attorney’s General Office.

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