UPDATE: Suspects arrested in shooting death of Columbia man in Audrain
COLUMBIA - Two people were in custody Monday and a third was being sought in the death of Leon Wilder, who was found dead of a gunshot wound in Audrain County last week.
Arline L. Diedrich, 39, of St. Ann, and 37-year-old Richard N. Henry III, of Overland, were being held in the Audrain County Jail awaiting formal charges, according to the Boone County Sheriff's Department.
Wilder's body was found July 6 along Audrain County Road 997 north of Grassland School Road, near the site of a historic battlefield.
“The Audrain Sheriffs office received a report of a male subject along Audrain Road and 997, which is right on the Audrain County, Boone County Road that was bleeding badly and very unresponsive,” Oller said
Oller said when officers and medical personnel arrived they found the man was deceased.
“There appeared to be a lot of blood,” Oller said. “Very suspicious to start with, and we examined the scene. We examined the deceased body and what appeared to be a gunshot wound.”
Once the autopsy confirmed Mr. Wilder was shot, Olller requested the Major Case Squad assist in the investigation.
“From there the investigation took a lot of twists and turns,” Oller said. "Basically we started back tracking Mr. Wilder’s whereabouts and we were eventually about to come up with some video.”
The Major Case Squad found surveillance footage of Mr. Wilder interacting with three people in a white ford pickup truck. Sunday, the case squad located the vehicles and individuals in St. Louis.
“Investigators from the major case located the vehicle that Mr. Wilder had been seen associated with and located at least two of the three individuals that he had been associated with on video and located substantial evidence to indicate that those folks were responsible for Mr. Wilder’s death,” Oller said.
Investigators are still looking for the third person from the video.
“We’re not really sure how involved that person is,” Oller said. “We know that they have some involvement. Right up to what appears as though Mr. Wilder was forced into a vehicle on a hotel parking lot. We know that there was a third person involved right up to that point, but we are not sure how involved.”
Det. Tom O'Sullivan, of the Boone County Sheriff's Department, said the Mid-Missouri Case Squad is looking into the killing and 13 agencies are assisting with the investigation.
CrimeStoppers is offering a reward for information leading to an arrest in the death. CrimeStoppers can be contacted at (573) 875-TIPS. All calls are held in strict confidence.
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