WAVERLY, Mo. — The Clay County prosecuting attorney is telling anyone on the Missouri River to alert authorities if they spot a barrel.
Earlier this summer, kayakers discovered a barrel holding remains later identified as Jaynie Crosdale. Excelsior Springs police had been searching for her as a potential witness in Timothy Haslett Jr.’s case.
On Tuesday, Clay County prosecutor Zachary Thompson hit the water, telling FOX4 he wants to familiarize himself with the area and keep a look out for more potential evidence.
Speaking from the Port of Waverly, Thompson didn’t get into specifics about what that evidence might be. But he explicitly said any barrel along the water should require extra attention.
“If you are around the Missouri River, if you see a barrel, contact law enforcement,” Thompson said.
As a member of the Missouri State Highway Patrol prepared a boat, people stopped by the landing Tuesday, saying that they knew about the remains.
“We try to see if it’s someone we might know. So, yeah, it’s a big talk when it happens,” Ellen Inman said.
“It was up here in the Grand Pass, what we call Grand Pass Bottoms,” Inman added.
Investigators also call it Hills Island Chute, an isolated bend in the river surrounded by levees and cornfields.
That’s where kayakers found a barrel in June containing Crosdale’s remains. On Tuesday, Thompson visited the spot.
“This would be the first time I’ve done this as part of my job as a prosecutor in Clay County,” he said of the boat trip.
“I think the discovery of Ms. Crosdale was a big moment in the case,” Thompson said.
Prosecutors argue Crosdale was inside Haslett’s home prior to his arrest in October 2022.
Haslett was arrested last year when another woman escaped what she called a dungeon set-up in his basement. Crosdale’s family told FOX4 they believe she was also a victim.
Prosecutors have not yet laid out a direct connection between Crosdale’s remains and Haslett’s case, but they’re using the river visit to gather more information.
“Kind of showing the layout of the river, some challenges with recovering future evidence — just kind of the scope of where they found those things and what all that entails in recovering them,” MSHP spokesman Cpl. Justin Ewing said.
People who live nearby said the situation is disturbing.
“Really, usually, it’s a calm place to come to and just think about it. You know? When it’s peaceful like this,” Inman said.
“I don’t like seeing the police down here at the river because then you know that something has happened,” Inman said.
Haslett is currently charged with the rape, kidnapping and sexual assault of the unnamed woman who prosecutors say escaped his home last fall. He has pleaded not guilty.
Following a bond hearing on Monday, Haslett’s attorney argued that his relationship with Crosdale was consensual.