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Truck stolen from Miller County homicide victims seen near Callaway County before victims found dead

Miller County McLean investigation
KMIZ
A Miller County deputy investigates at the home of Pam and Daniel Stephan in Kaiser on Sept. 9.

TUSCUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

The truck stolen from a Miller County couple that murder suspect JT McLean killed himself in was seen two days before the Lake-area couple were found dead.

The new detail in the cases surrounding McLean comes from a search warrant the Missouri State Highway Patrol requested for information from OnStar. Law enforcement wanted information from the General Motors-owned company to help track the movement of the Chevy Silverado truck Pam and Daniel Stephan owned.

Several agencies believe McLean stole the truck after killing the Stephans in early September, two weeks after deputies suspect he killed Allison and Jozee Abitz in Boone County. The Union County Sheriff's Office in South Dakota said McLean shot himself inside the truck as law enforcement surrounded him on Sept. 8 in Dakota Dunes. OnStar gave them information that McLean was in a hotel parking lot.

Deputies said the Stephans were related to McLean's ex-wife, and that the couple previously lived in the area of South Dakota where McLean died.

The warrant request from Trooper Max Lawson said deputies and troopers found a motorcycle behind the Stephans' home in Kaiser on the night of Sept. 8. Boone County deputies had warned previously that McLean purchased a motorcycle matching its description that was untitled and unregistered. Lawson said the Stephans' Chevy Silverado was also missing from the home.

Lawson said an automatic license plate reader saw the plate associated with the Silverado near the 137 mile marker of Interstate 70 on Sept. 6 -- two days before law enforcement found the Stephans dead. The reader saw the plate four miles from McLean's last known address near Millersburg in Callaway County.

The court documents show Lawson served the warrant to a third party on Sept. 16 to get the data.

ABC 17 News reported that deputies in Union County found a blood-smeared cord and rubber strap in the truck. Boone County deputies believe McLean may have strangled Allison Abitz to death. Capt. Brian Leer said on Friday the office had nothing new to report on its investigation of the Abitzes' deaths.

Lucas Geisler

Lucas Geisler anchors the 5 p.m. show for ABC 17 News and reports on the latest news around mid-Missouri at 9 and 10 p.m.

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