Area man is murder suspect
A Cassville man is accused of beating a Shell Knob man to death at a construction site in Pike County where the two had been working for the past month.
Christopher Lee Whiteaker, 31, has been charged with second degree murder in connection with the death of 38-year-old Randy Rogers in the early morning hours of June 25.
Law enforcement officers were called to the scene, which was described as secluded, and began a search for Whiteaker. According to reports published in the Bowling Green Times, Whiteaker returned to the crime scene as a Missouri State Highway Patrol helicopter began circling over the area.
Whiteaker was arrested at around noon on June 25 on outstanding warrants from Jackson County for a probation violation and from Independence for possession of a controlled substance.
In his most recent arrest, Whiteaker is accused of hitting Rogers and then submerging him in water. Authorities said Rogers did not die from drowning and the only weapons used in the attack were Whiteaker's fists. Alcohol played a part in the incident, according to law enforcement officials.
Whiteaker's preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 9 before Pike County Judge David Hamilton Ash. Whiteaker, who will be represented by a public defender, remains in custody in Pike County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 cash bond.
Pike County with a population of 18,351 is located in northeastern Missouri 65 miles north of St. Louis with its eastern boundary being the Mississippi River.