Hunters Urged to Look For Remains
MARIES COUNTY - Authorities in Maries County said Tuesday they hope hunters out this fall will help look for the remains of a woman missing since June. Sheriff's detectives have been working on the case of Kinga Gillibrand since then. Prosecutors have charged Terry Fritz, Gillibrand's boyfriend with her murder. But there is still no body in this investigation.
Since June, Det. Brad Strope has been working on the case. Stroup, with the Maries Co. Sheriff's Department, said he's thought for a while Gillibrand is dead. He also said he thinks her body could be lying somewhere in the woods surrounding her Meta home in Osage County.
To confirm this, Strope and Maries Co. deputies posted a number of fliers in and around the area asking local hunters to keep a lookout for Gillibrand's body.
And with deer hunting season fast approaching, Strope said he hopes one hunter may just come across her remains.
"Every year hunters will actually find things or evidence out in the woods," he said. "And in the past bodies have been found throughout the state while the hunters have been out there."
A number of hunters told KOMU Tuesday they found the flier disturbing, but will follow its request.
Gillibrand's boyfriend, Terry Fritz is currently in the custody of Maries Co. awaiting trial. But while authorities search for Gillibrand's body to solve her murder, the woman remains a mystery in Meta.
Staci Hurst owns a small market in this rural central Missouri town of 246. She said Tuesday anything that happens in Meta is talked about in her store.
But she said when residents first heard of Gillibrand's death, they were not shocked--mainly because no one knew who she was.
Hurst is Gillibrand's neighbor, but she did not know about the woman either.
"I don't know anybody who knows anyone of these people, either the accused or the victim. I don't know anybody who does," she said.
Other residents said they, too, did not know about neither Gillibrand nor Fritz, but they were still saddened by the case.
And Hurst said she was glad to hear Maries Co. was making a larger effort to find her body.
"They're just trying to find any evidence they can. I mean there's been many stories, many rumors. I don't know what's true, what's not true. But there needs to be hard evidence at this point," Hurst said.
Strope says he just wants to see hunters come back with "pertinent" information to the case. He was confident that hunters are the perfect people to find a missing body.
"What better search party could you ask for with having all those people out there to enjoy the weather and out there doing hunting," he said. "You know, they might stumble across something that might help us with the investigation."