Sheriff: 6-year-old found dead, hidden in suspect's bedroom
COLUMBIA - The 6-year-old boy with Down syndrome found dead in his home early Thursday morning was hidden in the suspect's bedroom, according to the Callaway County Sheriff's Office.
Callaway County Sheriff Dennis Crane said the boy's mother left for an overnight shift Wednesday afternoon, and when she got home at 2:30 a.m. Thursday she found her son, Dayne William Hathman, shot several times.
Authorities began a manhunt for the suspect, a man Crane said was living with the family for several months.
Police said the suspect fled in the mother's car. They said they found him at a Sedalia trailer park and arrested him around 6:30 a.m.
Scottie Willet, 27, is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.
The prosecutor's office released a probable cause statement which said Willet admitted to shooting the 6-year-old boy with a Hi-Point .40 caliber handgun.
As of Thursday evening, Willet was at the Callaway County Jail on a $1 million cash bond.
As of Friday morning at 8 a.m., authorities have yet to announce the date for Willet's arraignment.
A family friend who wished to remain anonymous said Willet was living with the family to help in the absence of his incarcerated brother, the victim's mother's boyfriend.
The same family friend also said there are no custody arrangements with the victim's biological father and that he did not live with the family, adding that there had been domestic issues with other members of the boy's family.
[Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Dayne William Hathman's name.]