Robbers terrorize, beat local Korean War veteran and caretaker in search for guns

ORRICK, Mo. -- For decades, Shirley Battaglear has loved living on his farm in Orrick, Missouri.

“Yeah, I’m out here on my own pretty much. I like being here. It’s really peaceful,” Battaglear said.

But the 85-year-old said two robbers recently ruined his peace when they busted out the front window of his home.

Once inside, Battaglear said one of the crooks hit him over the head with a pistol and threatened to kill him. The other suspect locked his caregiver in the basement, rummaged through drawers and smashed their cell phones so the victims couldn't call 911.

“He just kept saying, 'Where your guns at? Give us the guns,'" said Battaglear, who is a veteran of the Korean War. "And I said I didn’t have any, and then he says, 'Well you must’ve buried them somewhere. Give us the guns or I will kill you,' he shouted.”

“Oh, I can’t get that image out of my head," said Renee McCormack, Battaglear's caretaker. "They both wore Halloween masks at the time, and I stood there in the kitchen just staring at one of them after they got inside.”

More than fours later, the victims said the horrific ordeal finally ended.

“They stole my truck, my cash, my 12-gauge shotguns and my rifle. I’d say it is a miracle that we are still alive,” Battaglaer said.

“We were so close to death," McCormack said. "I just don’t know how we made it through it. I just kept on praying out loud to God."

Ray County sheriff’s deputies are still looking for the suspects.