Poplar Bluff Murder - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Poplar Bluff, MO

Poplar Bluff Murder



Poplar Bluff Murder
By: CJ Cassidy

POPLAR BLUFF, MO --Police in Poplar Bluff have one man in custody after they make a gruesome find this weekend. A passerby called police after he saw the body of a woman lying in an abandoned tunnel in the heart of the city.

Tuesday morning autopsy results were returned. The Butler County coroner tells Heartland News they found multiple stab wounds on 45-year old Cheryl Hesselrode's body.

"All my family all of us said not her... not Cheryl... anybody but her," Charles Hesselrode says. He is still in shock over the loss of his wife. Investigators say 20 year old Brian Hemphill raped and murdered 45 year old Cheryl Hesselrode before dumping her body in the tunnel. He is charged with rape, murder and armed criminal action.

"We picked up the suspect and brought him in for interview subsequently confessed to his involvement in rape and murder of victim," Capt. Dennis Long with the Poplar Bluff Major Case Squad says. But police won't tell say how the worlds of suspect and victim collided. Hesselrode was last seen alive walking away from the Eagle's Lodge late Saturday night.

Investigators say she was murdered a short while later. Brian Hemphill's mother Deborah says she has no idea how her son would have even run into Hesselrode at that time of night. "What was a 45 year old woman doing with two boys?" she asks.

Police say a second man is also being questioned but charges have not yet been filed against him. While Deborah Hemphill says she will continue to stand by her son, Charles Hesselrode says he's just as sure, Hemphill killed his wife.

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