Workers drain pond near area where homicide victim went missing

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BOONE COUNTY - The Boone County Sheriff's Department told KOMU 8 News Thursday it had officials on site at a pond near Route J and Route EE which is between Harrisburg and Columbia. That's near the area the department said Thursday it investigated the disappearance of 34-year-old Charles Bell back in 2011.

At the time of the disappearance, family members told KOMU 8 News Bell traveled to Columbia on the last day he was seen. They said they assumed he returned to the Harrisburg area as his cell phone was tracked by towers in the area later that day. Court document obtained by KOMU 8 News Thursday said Bell was believed to have been killed at his home.

Authorities arrested Jennifer Freeman and Patrick Curl late Wednesday in connection with the Bell disappearance and homicide. Freeman told authorities she and Curl hid evidence related to the case, including blood evidence and a motorcycle. Freeman said she and others cleaned up the crime scene and helped dispose of the body.

The department would not comment on whether the draining of the pond was connected to the Bell case. 

Two unmarked pick up trucks were at the pond Thursday. During the operation, the sound of pumping water could be heard and the pond was being visibly drained. Men at the pond put a boat in at one point but it was unclear what was being done on the water. 

Charles Bell was last seen on September 15, 2011.