PLEASANT HILL, Mo. — Pleasant Hill, Missouri, doesn’t see many murders.
An incident from this weekend has the small Cass County town talking, and a man who’s familiar to police is behind bars, charged with murdering a woman with whom he lived.
Police records show the body of 39-year-old Sara Maloney was discovered on Sunday afternoon.
Maloney’s family members had called Cass County’s Sheriff’s Department, alerting them to her disappearance, after not hearing from her for two days. Maloney’s remains were found in a home outside Pleasant Hill she shared with 31-year-old Levi Garrett Mitchell. Mitchell was arrested later that evening.
“She was the strongest human being I ever met,” Olivia Barham, Maloney’s girlfriend, said.
Barham said she and Maloney had dated for only a few months. Barham said Maloney was a two-time cancer survivor and had recently returned to chemotherapy. Barham was among the members of Maloney’s close circle who said Maloney had been shot.
“Everybody loved her. If you knew her, you loved her. She would help everybody in any way she could,” Barham said.
“I really hope he gets what he deserves. In no way was it alright for her to go out that way — at all,” Meghan Trageser, one of Maloney’s friends, said Tuesday.
“I want justice for Sara. I’m sorry, but I want him to rot in jail, in prison,” Barham said.
Missouri court records indicate Mitchell is also being prosecuted for a separate incident where he’s accused of breaking into the home of a Pleasant Hill police officer. Mitchell is due in court in April on those charges.
“At this time, we don’t have information as to a motive. We do believe that — he’s been charged with it — he did kill her,” Cass County Sheriff’s Maj. Kevin Tieman said.
Mitchell is still behind bars in Cass County. He’s being held without bond.
Funeral arrangements for Maloney are still being made. Her loved ones have organized this GoFundMe fundraising efforts to help with those expenses. Her loved ones have organized a fundraiser to help with those expenses.
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