SEDALIA, Mo. -- The Pettis County Sheriff announced in a news conference Tuesday morning that first-degree murder charges would be filed against Joseph Arbeiter, 65, the man who lived in a Sedalia trailer where the dismembered body of a woman was found on May 4.
The remains of Mandy Black, 35, of Marshall, Mo., were found decomposing at two locations in the mobile home park outside Sedalia. Authorities said Arbeiter admitted to them that he stabbed Black. An autopsy revealed she died from multiple stab wounds to the chest.
Prosecutors and investigators believe Arbeiter killed Black about five months ago and kept her body in a metal container.
"The dismemberment had occurred sometime within the past few weeks," said Sheriff Kevin Bond. "It was considerably after the time of death."
In the Tuesday news conference, Pettis County Prosecutor Jeff Mittelauser said he presented the evidence to a grand jury and received an indictment against Arbeiter.
A foul odor led residents of the Goodwill Chapel Trailer Park to the remains of Black.
The landlord was cleaning out the trailer where Arbeiter lived after Arbeiter was arrested for the attempted rape of a neighbor. She and her grandson detected the foul odor.
After authorities were called in, more body parts were discovered in a nearby wooded area.
Authorities said they called in a forensic anthropologist to help them in the case because the decomposition of Black's body was a challenge.
"They can go through and determine, even though there is decomposition, they can go through, with the markings on the bones, the tissue that is there, determine what happened and give us a little more insight into what took place," said the investigator.
Arbeiter was charged in 1966 with the stabbing death of a woman but was never convicted after complications with the investigation. Arbeiter is to be arraigned in Pettis County on Monday, May 19.
Black's family members want her remembered as a kindhearted person and a loving mother.
She leaves behind four children.