COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
A Columbia man who pleaded guilty Friday to his wife's 2006 murder has been sentenced to more than two decades in prison.
Judge Jeff Harris sentenced Keith Comfort on Friday at the Boone County Courthouse to 26 years in prison -- 22 years for second-degree murder and four additional years for abandoning a corpse.
"The first count was murder in the second degree, the second count was abandonment of a corpse," assistant prosecuting attorney, Susan Beresi said. "The agreement was that he would serve 22 years in the Missouri department of corrections on count one, and four years in the department on count two."
Prosecutors say Comfort told police in 2019 that he killed his wife, Meghan Shultz, whom he reported missing to the Columbia Police Department on Aug. 5, 2006.
Comfort allegedly told police that when he arrived at the apartment in the 1700 block of Amelia Street in 2006, Shultz was frantic and swinging her arms. Comfort then allegedly strangled Shultz, and when he realized she wasn’t breathing, he put her body in a garbage bag and put it in the dumpster at the apartment complex.
Police searched the city landfill after the 2019 confession to find Shultz's remains.
Shultz's family members were not in the courtroom but her best friend, Heather Crawford Gallatin gave a statement.
"Kaelyn will never know how much her mom loved her," Gallatin said."Her siblings will never get to know her better, and I will never get to make more memories with my best friend."
The adopted mother of Kaelyn, Megan Woods also gave a statement.
"Kaelyn found out the truth weeks before she started high school she found out that her mom didn't leave her, that her dad took her mom from her," Woods said.
Shultz's mother, Debra Schultz told ABC 17 News that Comfort is a "monster," and she couldn't believe he had lived in her home at one point.
"The worst of it was throwing her body in the landfill like she was trash," Shultz said.
Shultz also said there was never any doubt in her mind that Comfort was her daughter's murderer. She also said she's appreciative of law enforcement's efforts to bring her daughter justice.
"I knew he'd done it from day one," Shultz said. "It's been a tough, long many years darling and finally we're getting some justice."