Murder charges filed against boyfriend of missing DeKalb County woman

DEKALB COUNTY, Mo. — Murder charges have been filed against the boyfriend of a DeKalb County woman who went missing for three weeks before her body was found.

Kenneth Wykert, 49, faces charges of second-degree murder and abandonment of a corpse in the death of Leah Dawson.

Kenneth Wykert

Leah went missing on June 5 and her body was found June 26, about 100 yards from Wykert’s residence, according to the probable cause statement filed in DeKalb County court.

Wykert was arrested on June 12 on drug charges. When asked about Dawson, Wykert allegedly told investigators that he’d last seen Dawson at his home in Maysville on June 5. He said that they had been arguing about her leaving him and when he came home, she was gone.

While behind bars on the drug charge, Wykert allegedly told a fellow inmate that he killed Dawson. A second witness told investigators that Wykert had confessed to the killing in a phone conversation.

A third witness said they saw the two arguing on June 3 at the witnesses’ home. During that argument, Dawson allegedly yelled that Wykert had grabbed her by the throat and when they were leaving, the witness allegedly heard Wykert tell Dawson that he was going to kill her.

Wykert has a lengthy criminal record, including charges of failing to register as a sex offender filed last month. He remains behind bars in the DeKalb County jail.

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