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Person of interest in Greene Co. man’s death spent 14 months of 6-year sentence

Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 4:38 PM CDT
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REPUBLIC, Mo. (KY3) - A heartbreaking plea from a dad, after his son was the subject of a manhunt early Saturday morning in Greene County. Riley Collier was eventually picked up after driving the truck believed to be stolen from a homicide scene in Bois D’Arc last Tuesday.

Deputies arrived on Gene Collier’s porch with the news, his son was on the run and wanted in connection with a possible murder.

Gene was both shocked and heartbroken. He says if sharing his son’s story can save even one life from getting on drugs-- it would be worth the heartache to share his son’s story publicly.

“I probably have no tears left,” Gene Collier said.

On Saturday morning, Gene’s life changed forever. That is when a truck was spotted that had been missing from Stanley Simon’s driveway. Authorities believe Simon had been killed just days before.

The man driving it is believed to be Riley Collier. Unfortunately, this is not his first time on the wrong side of the law.

Court documents suggest he was roadside last year in Springfield, passed out from likely meth.

After that incident, his dad told police he had PTSD and was dishonorably discharged from the military. Gene then led officers to his house where Riley had multiple guns.

Gene says the common denominator for all his son’s troubles: drugs.

“That wasn’t the Riley that we know that did this... I think it was the demons back in his head again that took over,” Mr. Collier said.

Riley had been sentenced to six years in prison for drug use, but didn’t spend even half of that time. Gene says he was locked up total for only 14 months of a 72 month sentence, then let go on parole. KY3 has long covered stories from local sheriffs and parole officers who say criminals are getting off too easily, and their punishments are not long, or severe enough anymore.

“Did they let him out too soon? Probably yes. But that would have been to protect him more than anything, and now it would have been to protect somebody else,” Gene said. “I can’t put out enough sympathy for the other people that were involved.”

Riley Collier has not yet been charged with Simon’s murder. But he is a person of interest.

We’ll keep you posted if and when those charges come down.

After that incident, his dad told police that his son had PTSD and was dishonorably discharged from the military. That led police to the guns that Riley had.