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UPDATE: Authorities offering $2,000 reward for information about double homicide

Authorities are now offering a reward for information leading to an arrest in a recent double homicide in Boone County.

Detective Tom O’Sullivan with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department says Crimestoppers is offering $2,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case.

Preliminary autopsy results indicate gunshot wounds killed the two men whose bodies were found along Mexico Gravel Road Saturday morning.

They were found along the 6900 block of Mexico Gravel Road Saturday morning.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department has identified the victims in what they’re considering a double homicide.

An asphalt company employee first found James W. Richardson, 41, of Columbia about75 feet away from the road around 8:45 Saturday morning.

One hour later, with the help of of a K-9 unit, deputies located a second body about 150 yards away from the other body. That body has been identified as Kenneth B. Long, 42, of Mexico, Missouri.

O’Sullivan said preliminary investigation revealed the men had been dead for only a few hours before their bodies were found.

“Crime doesn’t really happen out here,”said Karen Baxter, who has lived just up the road on Billy Jean Drive for the past two years. “You always think it’s going to happen to somebody else in some other place and here it was like practically right in our backyard.”

Detectives have confirmed the two men were friends and had known each other for a long time.

“We’re still following up on leads,” said O’Sullivan. “We’re contacting friends, family, and associates of both victims trying to determine their whereabouts prior to their deaths. We have have a number of detectives and deputies out running down different leads.”

O’Sullivan said they have about ten detectives working the investigation.

One of the victims’ cars was towed away as evidence.

Mexico Gravel Road was blocked off at Billy Jean Drive as authorities investigated the scene.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department is being assisted by the Columbia Police Department and The Missouri State Highway Patrol.

This is the sixth homicide in Boone County this year.

“This year has been a fairly high number of homicides,” O’Sullivan said. “I’ve been here a while and that’s the highest that I can recall.”

Baxter said this incident doesn’t make her nervous about where she lives. She said she’s just anxious for answers.

“I’m sure that everyone else around here wants to make sure that it was strangers who just happened to be here and had nothing to do with anything going on around anywhere close,” she said.

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