Odessa police chief placed on leave for reasons unknown, leaving residents begging for answers

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ODESSA, Mo. -- People who live in Odessa know something is going on between their police chief and one of their officers, but they're begging the city for more information.

The chief of police is on leave, but no one in town seems to know why for sure. In small town fashion, people say rumors have filled in the holes.

Odessa resident Matthew Younce said, "Rumors go around like wildfires. It spreads and there's no controlling it.

Wayne McNeece also lives in the small Missouri town. He said, "I think people need to know what's going on in town instead of keeping everything hush hush."

People in Odessa told FOX 4 they're left with no choice but to speculate. They know the police chief is on a leave of absence. FOX 4 called the police department repeatedly but no one answered or returned calls. The door was locked at the police station when a news team tried to go in Thursday.

FOX 4 also called Odessa City Administrator Mickey Ary. He didn't want to go on camera and wouldn't answer any questions. Ary said Thursday afternoon he and the mayor are planning further meetings to discuss how to respond to the public, but FOX 4 never heard anything more.

Residents at a cafe in Odessa shared with us a photo on Facebook of an officer who was hurt, on a stretcher. They say the photo has been circulating on social media. Many people in town told FOX 4 he and the situation have a connection to the chief's action.

People in town said they don't expect to be told details about a personnel investigation, but they do want a few facts simply to squash the hearsay.

Younce said, "Everybody has their speculations of what happened."

FOX 4 never did get a response, return call, or statement from the Odessa Police station or anyone with the city of Odessa.

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