Thieves walk past dead man to steal from his home, police say


ELSBERRY, Mo. (KTVI) – A group of thieves walked past the body of a man who had died in his car and ransacked his Missouri home, taking tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of property, authorities said.

Lincoln County Sheriff Rick Harrell said a man in his 60s died in his car in the detached garage of one of his two homes, and word spread quickly among thieves.

“Once the information got out within that circuit — a group of people — they took full advantage of the situation and just ransacked the property, both properties, in fact, for anything they could find of value,” Harrell said.

A recent traffic stop led to the discovery of the man’s body. Elsberry police stopped a vehicle that turned out to have been stolen from the man. They went to his home and found his body in another car.

The victim was a recluse and estranged from his family and could have been dead for months.

“That’s pretty low, low, can’t get no lower than that,” said Matt Kasa, who lives down the road from the victim.

Detectives believe more than two dozen people took part in the thefts for weeks. Six of the suspects knew they were passing the man’s body, detectives said.

“Oftentimes, we run into cases that are shocking — man’s inhumanity to man — and this is one of those cases,” Harrell said.

Investigators have a good idea who the man is but have not positively confirmed his identity. The cause of death has not been determined.

“Throw (the thieves) in jail and let them think about what they’re doing to people,” Kasa said.

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