Police Charge Victim's Relative With Murder - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Stoddard County, MO

Police Charge Victim's Relative With Murder

Police Charge Victim's Relative With Murder
By: Wes Wallace

Stoddard County, MO - On a day when family and friends laid to rest 12-year old Miranda Dowdy, prosecutors charge a man-a close relative-with her murder.

"It's a very heinous crime for anyone to ensure, much less a 12-year old child," says Stoddard County Sheriff Carl Hefner, "We work hard on any case, but when a small child is involved, it's just a type of crime you want to solve as quickly as possible."

The investigation began on Sunday, when a family member found Miranda's dead body, burned inside a tool shed. Within 24-hours, officers had a suspect in custody.

"This afternoon, we charged 19-year old Steve Chipman with first degree murder, armed criminal action, statutory rape, and forcible rape," says Sheriff Hefner, "He led us to the murder weapon, and admitted to taking Dowdy to the tool shed, raping her, stabbing her multiple times, and then burning her body to try and hide the crime."

Chipman is in the Stoddard County Detention Center on a one million dollar bond.

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