INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Charges have been filed from an April homicide that occurred at a Nights Inn at 3400 NW Jefferson in Blue Springs. Prosecutors have charged Delana A. Mckissic, 47, with second-degree murder, armed criminal action and tampering with physical evidence. She’s being held in the Jackson County Detention Center on $100,000 bond though prosecutors will request an increase to $250,000 in light of these formal charges.
The homicide victim was a 44-year-old woman named Lisa Ruttenberg who was also staying at the hotel. An initial investigation revealed she had been beaten with a blunt object according to a probable cause statement.
A surveillance video camera had been covered with an unknown substance at about 8 p.m. on April 3rd. Hotel staff cleaned the lens at about 10:50 p.m. Detectives said they later watched the video and someone entered and exited Ruttenberg’s room on multiple occasions between the time it was cleaned and 12:41 a.m. on April 4th.
Hotel staff identified Mckissic as the person in the video. She was seen disposing items from the room in a trash bin on the hotel’s property. A taped 2×4 covered in blood was recovered from the trash along with many of the victim’s personal items.
Another guest of the hotel told investigators that he knocked on Ruttenberg’s door earlier on the evening of April 3rd and observed Mckissic looking out of the window but she did not answer the door.
Mckissic’s husband James and a housekeeper later told investigators they had seen her with wood board wrapped in tape that matched the one found in the trash.
After Mckissic was arrested she voluntarily told investigators that she been in and out of Ruttenberg’s room and removed things while wearing gloves but that Ruttenberg was still alive the last time she was in the room. A crime lab analysis revealed both Mckissic’s and Ruttenberg’s DNA on a pair of Mckissic’s shoes and gloves that were recovered from her room at the Night’s Inn.
Mckissic is set to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Monday, July 15.