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Investigators canvassing Boone Co. homicide scene

The search for clues in a Boone County double homicide led investigators back to the place they found the victims.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department conducted a line search at the 6900 block of Mexico Gravel Road alongside cadets from the University of Missouri’s Law Enforcement Training Institute. Major Tom Reddin said the sweep is designed to collect as much evidence as possible from the old El Ray Mobile Home Park, where an asphalt worker found one of the victim’s bodies Saturday morning. Reddin knew the line search would require immense manpower, and asked the LETI to help.

“The director [of the school, John Worden] authorized the class to come out and assist us this afternoon, and assist in this search, and provide us the personnel resource we needed to try and cover as much ground as possible,” Maj. Reddin told ABC 17 News.

41-year-old James Richardson of Columbia and 42-year-old Kenneth Long of Mexico were found about an hour apart in the 6900 block of Mexico Gravel north of Columbia on Saturday.

Maj. Reddin said the department often works with LETI in training settings, but has never used the institute to help with an investigation. Cadets combed through the tall weeds, using their feet and gardening tools to move plants aside as they searched for possible evidence. Instructors with the school helped manage the search, with three crime scene investigators with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department.

The double homicide investigation has led the department all over mid-Missouri, Detective Tom O’Sullivan told ABC 17 News earlier this week. Maj. Reddin said Thursday they have sent evidence to the crime lab in Jefferson City, and interviewed several people.

“We’re just doing everything we possibly can to cover all the bases, that we are recovering as much evidence as we possibly can,” Maj. Reddin said.

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