Holts Summit PD identifies body found, seek clues in homicide investigation

Update:

Holts Summit police report they have positively identified the body of the female found today and next of kin have been notified. The victim is Jessica Murafetis, age 44, from Chilhowee, Mo., in rural Johnson County.

Earlier coverage:

The Holts Summit Police Department has been unable to identify the body of a woman found near a gas station Thursday morning, authorities announced at a press conference later in the afternoon.

"At this point we have very limited information as we were unable to locate any type of identification on the victim," a press release stated.

Authorities did provide a description of the victim. She was a white female, estimated to be in her 40s or 50s, with shoulder-length brown hair. She was wearing and "olive-drab" (green) USMC sweatpants and a red long-sleeve T-shirt with the logo of Convenient Towing and Recovery company (based in Kansas City) on it.

Holt Summit Police Department is the lead investigating agency — but was assisted by the Missouri Highway Patrol, Callaway County Sheriff's Office and Jefferson City Police Department this morning.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Bryan Reid with Holts Summit PD at (573) 896-8431 or Callaway Crime Stoppers at (573) 592-2474.

Police are deeming this a homicide and have no suspects at this time. Investigators already followed up on two leads that didn't turn up any suspects. They are contacting Kansas City police for potential missing persons that may identify this suspect.

The Boone/Callaway Medical Examiner will perform an autopsy Friday to determine the cause of death. Holts Summit Police Department Sgt. Marc Haycook told the Sun that police plan to review the cameras at Exxon. Authorities are unclear how long she was there, but noted the body does not seem very decomposed and the cold may have been a factor in that.

After removing the body from scene a little before 2:30 p.m. Thursday, more than a dozen law enforcement officers scoured the area for clues.

Police said the call came in around 11:30 a.m. Thursday after a customer told an ExxonMobil employee they saw a woman laying in the grass field north of the business. The gas station and convenience store is on the east side of U.S. Highway 54 at the East Simon Boulevard exit, along the outer road, on the north side of Holts Summit. A gravel lot where tractor-trailers typically park is on the north side of the Exxon parking lot and the woman's body was found in the grassy area on the north edge of that lot.

After removing the woman's body, authorities began searching the area around where she was found.

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