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Police identify woman's body found in Holts Summit

Holts Summit Police Department still seeking clues, suspect in homicide investigation

Officers from the Holts Summit and Jefferson City police departments as well as the Callaway County Sheriff’s Office and Missouri State Highway Patrol search a grassy field for evidence behind the Holts Summit Exxon Mobile on the 100 block of East Simon Boulevard on Thursday after a deceased woman was discovered there at 11:28 a.m.

Officers from the Holts Summit and Jefferson City police departments as well as the Callaway County Sheriff’s Office and Missouri State Highway Patrol search a grassy field for evidence behind the Holts Summit Exxon Mobile on the 100 block of East Simon Boulevard on Thursday after a deceased woman was discovered there at 11:28 a.m. Photo by Brittany Ruess.

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Lt. Bryan Reid with the Holts Summit Police Department steps off of a tractor trailer Thursday after using a flashlight to look inside, searching for clues in a homicide investigation. The trailer was located on a gravel lot behind the Exxon Mobile in Holts Summit located on the 100 block of East Simon Boulevard. The body of Jessica Murafetis, 44, of Chilhowee, Mo., (rural Johnson County) was found in a grassy field behind the gas station.

— Jessica Murafetis, 44, of Chilhowee, Mo., (rural Johnson County) has been identified as the woman found deceased in Holts Summit earlier today.

As of 7 p.m., authorities positively identified the body as Murafetis, according to an email from Holts Summit Police Sgt. Marc Haycook. Next of kin has been notified.

"Due to the ongoing criminal investigation, no further details can be released at this time," Haycook's email stated.

Police are deeming this a homicide and have no suspects at this time. Investigators already followed up on two leads that didn't turn up any suspects. Anyone with information is asked to contact Bryan Reid with Holts Summit PD at (573) 896-8431 or Callaway Crime Stoppers at (573) 592-2474.

Murafetis - a white female, with shoulder-length brown hair wearing an "olive-drab" (green) USMC sweatpants and a red long-sleeve T-shirt with the logo of Convenant Towing and Recovery company (based in Kansas City) on it - was found a little before 11:30 a.m. Thursday by a customer at Exxon Mobil in Holts Summit. The customer notified Exxon employees and authorities arrived a short time later including the Holts Summit Police Department, Missouri Highway Patrol, Callaway County Sheriff's Office and Jefferson City Police Department.

The Boone/Callaway Medical Examiner will perform an autopsy Friday to determine the cause of death. Holts Summit Police Department Sgt. Marc Haycook told the Sun that police plan to review the cameras at Exxon. Authorities are unclear how long she was there, but noted the body does not seem very decomposed and the cold may have been a factor in that.

After removing the body from scene a little before 2:30 p.m. Thursday, more than a dozen law enforcement officers scoured the area for clues.

Police said the call came in around 11:30 a.m. Thursday after a customer told an ExxonMobil employee they saw a woman laying in the grass field north of the business. The gas station and convenience store is on the east side of U.S. Highway 54 at the East Simon Boulevard exit, along the outer road, on the north side of Holts Summit. A gravel lot where tractor-trailers typically park is on the north side of the Exxon parking lot and the woman's body was found in the grassy area on the north edge of that lot.

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