Lawrence County prosecutor dismisses murder charge in cold case investigation dating back to 1988

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 12:42 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Lawrence County prosecutor dismissed a murder charge against a man in a 33-year-old cold case.

A grand jury indicted Lawrence “Larry” Timmons in September of 2019 in the death of Cynthia Smith. She died in 1988.

Lawrence County Prosecutor Don Trotter said he dismissed the murder charge without prejudice. However, he noted new charges could be filed if new evidence is found. Timmons faces felony forgery and weapons charges. Trotter says those charges will move forward in the court system.

On July 28, 1988, investigators say Cynthia Smith dropped her children off with a babysitter before heading to Checker’s restaurant and bar in Mount Vernon, Mo. She never returned. Shortly after, Cynthia’s body was found in a rural Pierce City cemetery. In 1988, investigators questioned Timmons in connection with the murder of Smith but never filed any charges in her death. On September 6, 2019, the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with private investigators of the national true-crime program ‘Cold Justice,’ submitted evidence to prompt the grand jury indictment of Timmons in connection with the death of Cynthia Smith.

Investigators say Timmons lied to an employer about his status as a felon in February of 2019. As a result, Timmons gained employment selling lottery tickets and alcohol in Pierce City, Mo. The state of Missouri prohibits felons from selling both liquor and lottery tickets. Timmons also stands accused of lying to the Monett Area YMCA about his felon status while seeking, and later obtaining, employment in November of 2014.

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