Family Mourns Loss of Single Mom, Found Dead in Home

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RICHMOND, Mo. -- A single mother is murdered, and her family said they can't imagine why someone would want to do harm such a kind person.

A single home near Farris Ave & S. Whitmer Street is ringed by crime tape, while investigators scour it for clues about what happened to the woman living there, 40-year-old Michelle Rheuport.

"My mom called the law and went over there to try to shake her to wake her up and she wouldn't wake up," said Shari Miller, Rheuport's younger sister.

Miller is still trying to grasp the fact her older sister is gone. Miller says her sister lived with two of her sons at the home, a 13-year-old and a 17-year-old. She said Rheuport's older son found his mom unresponsive when he returned home around 7 a.m. Wednesday.  He ran next door to his grandmother's home to get help.

Miller said the grim news has rattled the family.

"It's been crazy," she said. "I've had one break down, but while I was at my mom's, I've tried to keep it strong for my mom."

The Missouri Highway Patrol, who is assisting the Richmond Police Department, said there is no sign of forced entry, but that's not to say the doors could've been unlocked.

Sgt. Collin Stosberg said an autopsy is expected to be performed on Rheuport's body Wednesday.

"We hope to have some closure for the family and make an arrest," Stosberg said.

Stosberg said while there have been no arrests, several individuals are being questioned.

"It's just pretty sad that you live in a town this small that people have to be that crazy and do stuff like that to people," said Shelly Rhadelander, a neighbor.

Rheuport's family said she was a hard-working certified nurse assistant for a nursing home in Excelsior Springs and mother of three. Her daughter lives in Nebraska. Family says Rheuport's husband passed away some time ago.

"She never had a speeding ticket in her life; she was a very good person," Miller said.

Rheuport's family said efforts to memorialize her are already underway.

Investigators said this murder is only the second one in 15 years in Richmond.  They said they don't believe it was not a random killing.

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