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Cole County deputies recover body, 3 people charged

The Cole County Sheriff’s Department recovered a body early Monday morning off of Route AA, southeast of Russellville.

The department’s investigation began after it received a request to check on 23-year-old Samantha Rhein. Authorities said he had not been heard from since August 4, when she texted her mother to come get her.

The body has been sent for an autopsy in Columbia and officials are still waiting for the results. Captain John Wheeler said results may take several weeks.

By Wednesday morning, 28 year-oldLevi Holder, 41-year-oldBobby Kirchner, and 52-year-oldSusan Nicolazzo were charged withabandoning a corpse. ABC 17 News obtained court documents that show the suspects admitted to knowing the victim was dead and to moving her body to a different location.

Abandonment of a corpse is a Class D felony in Missouri with a punishment of up to four years in prison.

Mark Richardson, Cole County Prosecuting Attorney, said more charges may be possible as the investigation continues.

“Even though we refer to it as abandonment of a corpse, it involves a person who is dead and law enforcement wants to get to the bottom of the matter, which may or may not result in further charges depending upon what law enforcement finds out.”

All three are being held in the Cole County Jail with bonds set at $100,000 each.

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