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Callaway Sheriff's Office investigates apparent homicide

Callaway Sheriff's Office investigates apparent homicide

January 8th, 2019 by Helen Wilbers in Local News

Authorities are investigating an apparent homicide on this stretch of Old U.S. 40. A caller reported hearing shots in the area late Sunday, and Callaway County deputies found a deceased individual in a parking lot.

Photo by Helen Wilbers /News Tribune.

One person died in an apparent homicide Sunday night near the Boone County line, according to the Callaway County Sheriff's Office.

The victim was publicly identified late Monday as Lauro Garza-Perez, 34, of Columbia. Next-of-kin have been notified.

"Based on ongoing investigation which has been in full motion since the initial call, I am confident this was not a random act and instead, a targeted offense," Sheriff Clay Chism said Monday.

According to reports, Callaway County deputies responded to the 1500 block of Old U.S. 40, west of the intersection of Route J and east of the Boone County line, Sunday, at 7:57 p.m. following a report that shots were fired in the area. Deputies found a deceased person in the parking lot of a business.

Other potentially involved people fled the area before deputies arrived, Chism said. No suspect description is available yet.

An autopsy of the victim was completed Monday. Authorities are investigating the death as a homicide.

Investigators are currently working out of the Boone County Sheriff's Office and are following leads in the Columbia area, Chism said. Boone County Sherffi's Office deputies and the Columbia Police Department are assisting in the investigation.

Anyone with information pertaining to the death is encouraged to contact Callaway County Crimestopper's at 573-592-2474 or at callawaysheriff.org/crime-stoppers.