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Benton County, Mo. investigators say death of man reported missing a homicide

Published: Jun. 20, 2021 at 9:12 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 20, 2021 at 5:46 PM CDT
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WARSAW, Mo. (KY3) - The Benton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a man who disappeared earlier in June as a homicide.

The mother of 28-year-old Cody Garrett, of Columbia, Missouri, reported him missing June 6. Investigators say she lost contact after he visited friends in Benton County to do some sport-shooting. He never returned home.

Benton County Sheriff Eric Knox says investigators are following several leads and the investigation is still ongoing.

“A subject from out of town that came to our county,” Sheriff Knox says. “We don’t know why. Why us when there are so many other places to go to.”

Sheriff Knox says when multiple locations and counties are involved, it can make the investigation more challenging.

“It always makes it more difficult when you have to go out of town to do any research,” Sheriff Knox says. “My investigating staff will have to go to Columbia to do some of the backtracking research and try to figure out from start to stop what’s going on.”

Benton County deputies tracked Garrett’s phone to his car on Benton House Avenue in Warsaw. Investigators say bicyclists helped deputies look for Garrett on nearby trails, locating his body a half-a-mile away from his car.

Investigators have not said how he died. Sheriff Knox says it was ruled a homicide by the Jackson County Medical Examiner.

“The decomposing of the body and Mother Nature takes a quick toll on the body, so with the condition of the body, we had to send it to Jackson County Medical Examiner to find out what facts were still there,” Sheriff Knox says.

Sheriff Knox says he wants people in the community to know that Benton County is still a safe place to live.

“It’s still a small tight-knit community, and I don’t understand why this bad stuff comes to our county,” Sheriff Knox says. “Something like this shakes a community. No matter where they’re from or what kind of crime it is. It still affects each and every one of us.”

If you have any information, you are asked to call the Benton County Sheriff’s office at 660-438-6135 or email bc.sheriff@bentoncomo.com.

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