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Homicide investigation continues in Columbia

Homicide investigation continues in Columbia

January 9th, 2019 by Helen Wilbers in Local News

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Investigations into Sunday's apparent homicide still center in Boone County, according to Callaway County Sheriff Clay Chism.

"In fact, nearly every lead has been in Columbia itself," Chism said Tuesday. "With the valued assistance of the Boone County Sheriff's Office, we jointly have 10 to 15 deputies and investigators working the case nonstop. We will continue to work out of the Boone County Sheriff's Office for the foreseeable future."

An autopsy completed Monday confirmed Lauro Garza-Perez, 34, of Columbia, died of gunshot wounds.

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, at 7:57 p.m. Sunday following a report of shots 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.

"Homicide investigations are complex," Chism said. "While quick results are always wanted, ensuring the case is built for successful prosecution is the primary goal. Victims and their families are best served by court convictions as opposed to quick arrests that may not hold up in a court of law."

Anyone with information pertaining to the death is encouraged to contact Callaway County Crimestopper's at 573-592-2474 or at