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Mother of missing woman bitter over killer’s release

A Morgan County man is scheduled to be released today from the Tipton Correctional Center after serving four years of a seven-year sentence for the death of his wife in 2003.

And the mother of the victim is not happy.

Michael Yarnell, 43, accepted a plea agreement in June 2009 on one count of first-degree involuntary manslaughter, if all other charges were dismissed against him.

Yarnell was charged with multiple felonies in 2008 after he allegedly confessed to killing his wife, Michelle “Angie” Yarnell, and leading her family and authorities to believe she ran away with another man.

“The reason he’s getting out now is that he was so successful in hiding her body, which is the evidence,” said Angie’s mother, Marianne Asher-Chapman. “To this day, we have never have found her remains. She is still a missing person.”

Investigators testified that Yarnell admitted shoving his wife, causing her to fall off the couple’s deck at their Ivy Bend home in late September 2003.

After he sat with her for a while, they said Yarnell “freaked out” and loaded Angie’s body in a car with the intent of driving her to Versailles, but eventually took the body to a boat ramp at the Lake of the Ozarks, loaded her into a canoe and eventually “lost” her in the water.

Yarnell then fled the area and wasn’t found by authorities until August 2008.

“I will never understand how our criminal justice system allowed a liar like Michael Yarnell to lead them to such a path, fabricating a story which was nothing more than a self-serving lie to save his own skin from a life sentence or even a death sentence,” Asher-Chapman said.

Asher-Chapman’s experience led her to co-found Missouri Missing, a group dedicated to helping families of missing persons try to find their loved ones by connecting them with various resources, many associated with law enforcement, and keeping missing person cases out in the public.

Despite being able to help many since found the group in 2007, Asher-Chapman still has a hard time dealing with how her daughter’s case has been handled.

“The justice system in the case of my beloved daughter has done little more than to denigrate and insult her and her family and friends, and in no way, has brought any degree of true justice to we who has suffered at the hands of this dangerous predator,” she said.

“It gives him full freedom to continue to harm others.”

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