By Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2020

GRANT CITY, Mo. (AP) - A northwest Missouri man was charged Friday with second-degree murder in the death of a woman who was scheduled to testify against him.

Jeremiah Searles, of Bethany, also was charged with abandonment of a corpse. He was accused of killing Melissa Chapman, who was missing for three weeks before her body was found Sept. 14 in Grant City.

A probable cause statement from the Worth County Sheriff’s Department said Searles led authorities to Chapman’s body, The St. Joseph News-Press reported.

Searles was facing charges of kidnapping, domestic assault and abuse/neglect of a child. Chapman was scheduled to testify against him in that case.

Searles initial arraignment is set for Sept. 21. Online court records do not name an attorney for Searles.

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