Ripley County murder suspect caught in Arkansas - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Ripley County, MO

Ripley County murder suspect caught in Arkansas

Ripley County murder suspect caught in Arkansas
By: CJ Cassidy

RIPLEY COUNTY, Mo. - A young mother - brutally murdered. Now, a local family struggles through grief and anger to find out who killed her, and why.

Tuesday night, investigators found the man they say murdered 25-year-old Heather Donnell. He is 46-year-old Eddie Marshall. He was located in Polk County Arkansas.

Heather was Marshall's neighbor - and her family members tell me there was some bad blood between the two because Eddie Marshall allegedly attacked her boyfriend, recently.

Investigators wouldn't comment on a motive, and Heather's mother and sister say right now, all they care about is getting Marshall behind bars. "I knew something was wrong. Heather was so responsible," her mother, Sherrie Gunter sobs.

So when her daughter didn't show up to pick up her young son after work Sunday evening, Sherrie Gunter filed a missing person's report. But Gunter says she had a strange feeling she knew exactly where Heather was. " I knew she was in that trailer. I knew she was in that trailer," she says.

That trailer she's referring to- is Eddie Marshall's home - and that's where investigators found Heather's body Monday afternoon. "It was visible there was a head injury. At this point, we're not able to disclose what caused the head injury," Ripley County Sheriff Adam Whittom says.

The scene was so gruesome, investigators say they used a tattoo on Heather's body to identify her. A fact that isn't lost on the young sister who lived with her. "The tattoo on her ankle had a frog and it had a ying yang on it. They say that's the only way they knew it was her because of her tattoo," Nikki Mathews says with a shudder.

She also adds that about a month ago, Marshall punched her sister's boyfriend in the face. "She was scared to death of him," Sherrie Gunter says of Marshall. Besides her daughter's shocking death - her mother also grieves for her grandson. Five-year-old Gavin depended on his mother to fight a deadly disease. "He's been on chemo for five years and he has a brain tumor it's cancer and he killed her and left the baby without his mother," Gunter says.

Heather Donnell's body has been sent for an autopsy so police can figure out how and when she died.

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