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Victim identified in homicide on 1900 block of Lasso Circle

Columbia police said they notified the next of kin of the victim who was found dead in the 1900 block of Lasso Circle Monday morning.

Police said Augustus Jackson Roberts, 28, of Columbia, was the victim who died.

Public information officer Latisha Stroer did not say what the cause of Roberts’ death was. The investigation is still ongoing, Storer said in a news release.

Roberts was a native of Luray, a northeast Missouri village in Clark County, near the Iowa border. Clark County High School principal Jason Harper confirmed to ABC 17 News that Roberts was a 2008 graduate. Roberts participated in Future Farmers of America and football, Harper said, and was known for his positive attitude at school.

“He was easy to communicate with,” Harper said in a phone interview. “He was always smiling, and when he walked down the hall, he was always saying hi to everyone. Just a good kid.”

Roberts graduated from Truman State University, located in Kirksville, Mo., in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in justice systems, according to public relations director Heidi Templeton.

A newspaper in Kahoka, Mo., identified Roberts as the son of Clark County associate circuit judge Rick Roberts. An email to Roberts on Tuesday afternoon went unreturned.

An incident like this has far-reaching effects in a community like Clark County, Harper said. Census data reports the county had 7,139 people in 2010. Numbers from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shows Clark County High School had just 297 students enrolled last school year.

“It was tragic news for our faculty,” Harper said of Roberts’s death. “Our faculty is a veteran faculty that had Gus in class. And whenever a small community like ours loses someone like that, then it really is felt around not only the whole school but the whole community.”

Boone County records show Roberts registered his property in the 4000 block of Deerfield Drive in 2017. It’s the only tax bill listed for Roberts through online records.

Columbia police have not said if they have anyone detained for the homicide. Police were called for a suspicious person around 3:30 a.m. on Monday to Lasso Circle, in the Old Hawthorne neighborhood in east Columbia. First responders found Roberts unconscious outside the home.

Roberts’s death is the ninth homicide of the year in the city of Columbia. It ties a 20-year high set in 2000 for the city.

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