59-year-old charged with murder in eastern Missouri woman’s 1986 death

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UNION, Mo. — Authorities say a 59-year-old man has been charged with second-degree murder in the 1986 death of an eastern Missouri woman.

Kenneth Avery Jr., of Villa Ridge, was charged Tuesday in the July 1986 death of Kristen Edwards.

Edwards’ nude body was found in rural Franklin County. The Washington Missourian reported court documents say an eyewitness told investigators Avery killed Edwards in a cabin near Leslie.

Leslie is a small village of about 170 people just west of Union and about 30 miles southeast from Hermann.

Avery is being held on $500,000 cash only bond.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said Thursday Avery’s arrest was the first case involving a new cold case unit that he has formed.

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