BERNIE, MO (KFVS) - A man has been arrested in connection with moving a Bernie woman’s dead body.
38-year-old Holly Kirkman’s neighbor, Corey Gill, was interviewed by investigators after he was arrested on unrelated stealing charges. During the interview, Gill admitted to finding Kirkman’s body on his property, dragging it, putting it next to her car and not calling the authorities.
On Monday, Nov. 19, the Major Case Squad searched Gill’s residence on the 500 block of Walter Ave. in Bernie. During the search, methamphetamine was located in the residence.
Gill is charged with abandonment of a corpse and possession of a controlled substance. He is currently being held at the Stoddard County Jail.
The Major Case Squad has been activated following a death investigation in Bernie, Missouri on November 19.
The Stoddard County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that the woman found dead was Holly Kirkman, 38, who had been missing since Nov. 8. Deputies say Kirkman was found in the closed trunk of her car at the family home in Bernie.
The autopsy was completed at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 20. The autopsy did not show any trauma or injuries that would have caused Kirkman’s death. The results of the toxicology tests have ot been received at this time.
Chief Deputy Andrew Holden with Stoddard County Sheriff’s Office said they can not rule out the cause of death for Kirkman because they’re waiting on the toxicology report. It could take several weeks to get that report.
“At this point, I can’t say that we do or do not suspect any foul play,” Chief Deputy Andrew Holden said. “Based on the pending autopsy results. We just don’t have those answers yet. From the autopsy, we hope to get the cause of death as well as the time of death which will help us with the investigation.”
Chief Deputy Holden calls it a strange scenario that requires more attention from detectives.
“Regardless of the outcome of the autopsy we are going to continue our investigation and get as many answers as we can, Chief Deputy Holden said. "Whether it’s a homicide, suicide or natural causes, it does not matter to us. We do everything in our power to get those answers to comfort the family and to answer their questions.”
A neighbor who lives close to where Kirkman’s body was found said he is worried for the safety of his 18-year-old daughter who he did not let walk home alone last night.
Members of the major case squad say it is still early in the investigation. They hope to find out how Kirkman got there and who opened and closed the trunk.
The Major Case Squad consists of the Stoddard County Sheriff’s Office, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and police departments from Dexter, Bloomfield, Advance, and Bernie.