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Columbia murder, arson suspect appears in court


A Columbia man charged with murder and arson appeared by video in Boone County Court on Monday afternoon.

Steven M. Strumpf, 31, of Columbia was charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, second-degree arson and credit card fraud after firefighters discovered a body under debris Friday in a garage on Deerfoot Way.

Police haven't identified the victim, who is listed as "DS" in a probable cause statement. The home is owned by David M. Strumpf, according to public records.

Firefighters were called to the home just after midnight Friday and initially thought no one was inside. They found the body later when looking for hot spots.

Police arrived to find the front door and garage, where the fire was centered, open. No vehicles were at the house, the probable cause statement says. A dog alerted to the presence of fuel for the fire.

A neighbor told police they saw Steven Strumpf moving items out of the house just hours before the fire. Police were also alerted to a fraudulent hotel charge on a Commerce Bank account for a stay that evening and found that Steven Strumpf had rented the room.

Police found the car he was driving and arrested him early Saturday, the probable cause statement says.

Steven Stumpf admitted to stabbing the victims several times in the neck, putting gas on the body and lighting it on fire, according to the statement. He allegedly told police the murder weapon was in his car and officers found it there, the statement says.

Steven Strumpf remains in the Boone County Jail on Monday without bond.

He'll appear in court again at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday for a status hearing and a possible mental health evaluation, according to prosecutor Roger Johnson.

A bond hearing has been scheduled for Steven Strumpf on Jan. 29 and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 22.

Article Topic Follows: Crime

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.


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