A local man has been charged with abandonment of a corpse several months after his deceased mother was found in a storage shed in his back yard.
According to Lt. Jeff Crites, Farmington Police Department, on Nov. 14, 2017 the department was contacted by family members living out the area who were concerned after not having any contact with their mother for nearly a month.
Officers conducted a well-being check at an address in the 400 block of South Carleton Street in Farmington.
According to Crites, officers spoke with Nicholas T. McClure, the woman’s son who lived with her at that address. McClure reportedly told officers the 85-year-old woman was traveling out of state.
Attempts were made to contact the missing woman using the cell phone number provided by the son, and a missing person’s report was filed.
After attempts to contact were unsuccessful, officers with the department – along with assistance from the Missouri State Highway Patrol – found forensic cell phone data which showed the phone had never left Farmington.
During the investigation, Crites said, law enforcement officials returned to the home and requested McClure go the police department for further questioning. During the course of the interview McClure disclosed his mother had passed away on Oct. 15, 2017.
He told investigators where her body was located, in an outbuilding at the home.
Crites said there are some toxicology reports still out, but an autopsy showed there were no signs of foul play and it’s believed the women died from natural causes at home.
Following further investigation, McClure has now been charged with abandonment of a corpse… a class E Felony.
According to the probable cause statement by investigators, McClure was charged with act of abandonment of a corpse by failing to properly report the Oct. 15, 2017 death of his mother, Nydia McClure, to law enforcement officials in St. Francois County.
The report states McClure “further committed the act by constructing a makeshift coffin and wooden vault, which contained the corpse of Nydia McClure, which was hidden in an outbuilding located at the McClure residence.” The report also states he “kept the death and location of Nydia McClure’s corpse from his two sibling and law enforcement by using subterfuge (or deceit) when attempting to locate Nydia McClure.”
A reason the death was not reported by the son was not listed in court documents or revealed by the lead investigator in the case.
Prosecuting Attorney Jerrod Mahurin said on Monday the reason for the delay in charges being filed after the discovery was due to waiting on extensive toxicology results.
“We had to wait for a substantial amount of time to get all the reports in on it,” he said. “Again, we wanted to be sure – after we ran the autopsy, we had to wait on toxicology reports to make sure there wasn’t any signs of foul play.
“It just took a little bit of time for everything to get to the office. It was a fairly lengthy packet I had to go through … once I got the report I went through it not long after that.”
Updates on the story will be available on dailyjournalonline.com as they become available.
Shawnna Robinson is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-518-3628 or firstname.lastname@example.org