A Jefferson City man has been charged in connection with the 2014 murder of another Jefferson City man in Moniteau County five years ago.
Aaron Irwin, 29, faces a charge of first-degree murder for allegedly stabbing and cutting Cody Thirlwall, 32, which led to Thirlwall's death July 7, 2014, Moniteau County Prosecutor Mary Kay Lutz announced Friday.
A Missouri Highway Patrol probable cause statement in the case was made public Monday.
Human remains were discovered by a hunter near Enon in rural Moniteau County on Aug. 9, 2014.
Later that month, the Highway Patrol said an examination of dental records confirmed the remains were Thirlwall's.
Thirlwall was charged in February 2014 with one count of second-degree burglary for allegedly breaking into a home on East Capitol Avenue in Jefferson City. A warrant had been issued for his arrest when he didn't appear in court in June 2014.
Investigators discovered Thirlwall had last been seen at a residence on Hubb Street around 4 p.m. July 7, 2014.
An eyewitness reported Thirlwall had complained phones, money and other items belonging to him had been taken from him. The eyewitness said Irwin later went to the residence and that he and Thirlwall had a verbal altercation. Thirlwall left about an hour later to get money from an ATM. He left two duffle bags at the residence and said he would be back, according to the eyewitness.
After Thirlwall left, Irwin reportedly took the two bags and said, "He ain't gonna be needing these." Then a woman in a car went up to the home, and Irwin got in the car and left the area.
A neighborhood watch member on Stone Creek Road in Moniteau County said on July 7, 2014, that she and her husband had seen a vehicle parked near the gate of the property leading to where Thirlwall's body was found. She said a woman was driving and a man was in the passenger seat.
Investigators found that on June 28, 2014, Irwin had been arrested in Moniteau County for speeding and was found to be in possession of Thirlwall's ID card when he was booked.
Irwin was incarcerated on two different occasions in Moniteau County around the time of Thirlwall's death — first between June 25 and July 2, 2014, and second in early August 2014.
An inmate at the Moniteau County Jail told investigators Irwin had told him he was looking for Thirlwall because Thirlwall had "ripped him off on a drug deal." Irwin also reportedly told the inmate Thirlwall had stolen two backpacks that contained guns and electronics.
The inmate also told investigators Irwin had previously bonded Thirlwall out of the Cole County Jail and Thirlwall was supposed to bond him out of Moniteau County. Irwin claimed Thirlwall had instead taken the bond money — reportedly thousands of dollars — and never posted Irwin's bond. The inmate claimed Irwin had said he would find Thirlwall and "put him in a ditch."
Irwin eventually bonded out on July 1 or 2, 2014. Three to four days prior to Irwin's returning to the Moniteau County Jail in August 2014, the inmate told investigators he had begun to hear rumors that Thirlwall was dead and immediately thought Irwin was responsible based on his prior conversation with him. When the inmate saw Irwin back in jail, he mentioned Thirwall's death and Irwin reportedly "smiled and said he already knew."
Authorities interviewed Irwin in September 2014, and Irwin said he had only known Thirlwall for four or six months. He was asked if he knew of anyone who "had it out" for Thirlwall, and Irwin said Thirlwall "(expletive) over people by stealing from them or selling them fake narcotics."
Investigators talked in 2015 with four individuals believed to have ties to Irwin and all indicted Irwin was involved in the killing. They also indicated the reason for the killing was that Thirlwall had failed to bond Irwin out of jail.
During a fifth interview in October 2015, investigators talked with a woman whom Irwin reportedly told he had slit Thirlwall's throat and taken his body to a remote place where "nobody would ever find him."
The woman said Irwin had told her Thirlwall had betrayed him when the two burglarized a home and Irwin got caught inside. She said Irwin believed Thirlwall had arranged for him to get caught.
Investigators talked to the same woman in March of this year, and she reportedly stood behind the statement she gave in 2015.