The Pettis County Sheriff’s Department and Missouri Highway Patrol continued searching a mobile home in Sedalia Monday morning after partial human remains were found Sunday.
Mushroom hunters discovered a human torso in the woods near the trailer Monday morning, in addition to what detectives found Sunday night.
Police found a pick axe and shovel in addition to the remains at the scene. Cadaver dogs were brought in to scour the surrounding wooded area.
65-year-old Joseph Arbeiter lived in the trailer off of Goodwill Chapel Road and was arrested and charged last week with multiple crimes including 2nd degree assault, 1st degree attempted rape, and 1st degree attempted sodomy, among others.
According to court documents, a neighbor of Arbeiter allowed him into her home on April 30th to examine wounds on his head. He then hit her in the face, sexually assaulted her, held a knife to her throat, and hit her with a gun.
It was after this incident that police obtained an initial search warrant to Arbeiter’s trailer to locate the knife and gun used in the attack on his neighbor.
Arbeiter served multiple stints in prison, from 1976 to 1977 for operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent, from 1982 to 1992 on drug charges, and from 1994 to 2002 for a violation of parole. Arbeiter was discharged from parole in May 2002.
The Pettis County Sheriff’s Department was called around 2:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon, saying they needed to come to the Goodwill Trailer Park at Joseph Arbeiter’s home and look in a metal box with a tarp covering it.
The landlord of the trailer park, Sherry Woolry, and her grandson were cleaning Arbeiter’s trailer when they came across a stench, and thought it was Arbeiter’s dog that had died a few months back.
“I told him to pull that green rug back and he said Meema that dog ain’t in here, but that’s a hand.”
At first, Woolry said she couldn’t believe her eyes. She was hesitant to call police because she didn’t know exactly what she was looking at.
“I went over and looked and said that ain’t no hand. I just said get it out of here and take it to the dumpster. He said, Memma, you can’t, you’re gonna have to call the law.”
The maintenance manager came over and moved the bag, revealing what looked like an arm from the wrist to the elbow.
Later, when deputies found human remains in the metal box, they obtained a search warrant for the trailer at around 6:30 p.m.
A neighbor said Arbeiter never had people at his house or spoke to anyone in the area.
She said Arbeiter wasn’t someone she wanted to be around.
“Not someone I want to come across in a dark alley. You come across people, especially older people, and you can tell if they’ve got a heart to them and if they’re okay, or if they’re creepy and you want to stay away. And he was creepy,” said neighbor Tracie Karigan.
Pettis County Sheriff Kevin Bond told ABC 17 News investigators believe there is only one victim at this time.
According to the Boone County Medical Examiner’s Office an autopsy is expected this week.
Anyone with information about the case was asked to call the Pettis County Sheriff’s Office or CrimeStoppers at 660-827-TIPS.
Stay with ABC 17 News and abc17news.com for updates on this developing story.