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Denver Missouri man sentenced to 30 years in prison for murder of Melissa Chapman

A Denver Missouri man who pleaded guilty to killing a mother with a cinder block has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Posted: Dec 10, 2020 5:22 PM
Updated: Dec 10, 2020 6:21 PM

(GRANT CITY, Mo.) A Denver Missouri man who pleaded guilty to killing a mother with a cinder block has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Jeremiah Searles, 39, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Worth County court Thursday, according to a news release from the county prosecutor's office.

Searles admitted to killing 42-year-old Melissa Chapman, of Grant City, a mother, by striking her with a cinder block, the news release said.

Chapman was reported missing by her close friend, Sherry Hinton, in August. Chapman's car and cell phone were found abandoned in Mount Ayr Iowa shortly after.

Chapman was scheduled to testify against Searles, who was charged with kidnapping, domestic assault and abuse/neglect of a child in another case.

Authorities located the Grant City woman's body in mid-September and Searles was charged with her murder less than a week later.

According to the news release, Worth County Prosecutor Janet Wake Larison, has now charged Kimberly Henry-Tinkle in connection to Chapman's murder. Henry-Tinkle is facing felony charges of Hindering Prosecution, Tampering with Evidence, and Abandonment of a Corpse Without Notifying Authorities.

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