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Eldon police chief honored for work on murder case

Eldon police chief honored for work on murder case

December 13th, 2018 by Danisha Hogue in Local News

<p>News Tribune photo/ Danisha Hogue</p><p>FBI special agent Curtis Bryant poses with Eldon Police Chief Brian Kidwell and senior supervisory agent Chad John. Kidwell was presented with a certificate signed by FBI Director Christopher Wray at the Eldon Board of Alderman meeting Tuesday.</p>

ELDON — Police Chief Brian Kidwell was recognized for his work in the 1984 case of missing person Tammy Rothganger.

U.S. Department of Justice FBI agents attended the Eldon Board of Alderman meeting Tuesday to present Kidwell with an award.

"Brian was recognized for his exceptional contribution to an FBI investigation," special agent Curtis Bryant said.

On Jan. 4, 2016, Martin Priest was charged with murdering Rothganger. Thirty-four years after her disappearance, he was convicted of first-degree murder.

Bryant said he worked with Kidwell on the case for 12 years. He sang praises of Kidwell working on a cold case, which often is difficult to get a trial and conviction.

"I really wanted to do something to recognize Brian," Bryant said. "I just wanted to pull back the curtain a little bit."

He said Kidwell was instrumental in identifying witnesses, including a passenger in the vehicle with Priest.

"Getting a certificate from the FBI director is not something that is easy to do, and it's definitely indicative of the exceptional work that Chief Kidwell has done," senior supervisory agent Chad John said.

Kidwell said it was an honor to be recognized. "There were a lot of people who put in a lot of work on that case," he said.

In 2008, Kidwell joined the Eldon Police Department as an investigator. He was elected chief in 2017.