Could catching the man or men who committed the 1989 unsolved murder of Kelle Ann Workman finally be brought to justice?
If Professor Michael Bowersox’s forensics class at the Drury University campus in Cabool has its way, exhuming Workman’s body and reopening an active law-enforcement investigation into Kelle’s 1989 death could result “in this case being resolved and the perpetrators prosecuted,” according to the class’s final report on their study of the case prepared for the Workman family.
Bowersox, who is also the warden at the Licking Correctional Center and previously was the warden at the Ozark Correctional Center located between Diggins and Fordland, already has used one of his classes to bring to justice and convict a man who committed a 25-year-old “cold case” murder.
The study of Workman’s abduction and murder on June 30,1989, when she was only 24, provided the class the curriculum for its course.
Workman was abducted while mowing the Dogwood Cemetery, located about nine miles south of Seymour near the intersection of Missouri Highway 14 and Highway Z, on a hot evening 24 years ago when she suddenly disappeared, the mower she was using still running and the keys in her car. Her badly decomposed body was found on a lonely Christian County road, half way up a mountain, drug about 80 feet down the runoff from a wet-weather spring, where she was dumped, the upper half of her body out of the water.
The Drury forensics class poured over police reports from the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP), law-enforcement reports, forensics evidence (which was sent to the Southwest Missouri Forensics Center in Howell County), interviewed the Workman family, toured the Dogwood area, met with a coroner, a pathologist and listened intently to former Christian County Sheriff’s Department investigator Rita Sanders, who now is a prominent defense attorney in southwest Missouri, tell them that during her reinvestigation into the case in the early 1990s, she learned that if law enforcement had only followed up the alibis of any of the people investigated the night after the murder, they would have solved the case.
This led to the conclusion of the class’s report that called out to former law-enforcement officials, including former Christian ...
• See WORKMAN, Page 6
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