BOONE COUNTY, Mo. — A person is dead and two others have been arrested and charged after a seemingly accidental alarm alerted authorities before the suspects could escape.
Boone County deputies responded to the 5700 block of E. Mount Zion Church Road, in between Hallsville and Columbia, Missouri, to investigate a burglary alarm at 4:13 p.m. on March 7. The alarm company reported that a door alarm at a residence had been tripped.
Deputies called the residence on the way to the home. On the second try, a man who was not the home owner answered the phone. The man said it seemed the home owner was dead.
When deputies arrived, they found the body of the resident in a state that appeared the person had been dead for several hours. Responders also met two people at the home: Jamie Lee Chick, 36, of Columbia; and Blake Ashley Williford, 30, of Centralia.
Surveillance cameras throughout the home revealed Chick and Williford were taking drugs and drinking alcohol the night before, according to the sheriff’s office. When they woke up, it appeared the two realized the home owner was dead.
Instead of calling 911, the sheriff’s office stated that the two appeared to loot the dead person’s pockets and home. Video also showed them attempting to remove traces of drugs from the home.
“Neither Williford or Chick made any visible effort to provide medical assistance to the resident, call for emergency medical services to assist the resident, or make a report to law enforcement,” The sheriff’s office stated. “Instead they appeared to be in a panicked state, giving the perception they were preparing to flee the residence without contacting law enforcement.”
Authorities believe the two tripped the alarm during this time, alerting the sheriff’s office. Instead of running, Chick answered the phone and talked with the responding deputy.
On March 13, six days after the incident, Chick and Williford were arrested on charges of abandoning and tampering with evidence. Both have reportedly bonded out of custody at the Boone County Adult Detention Center.