Police identify body found behind business in Lebanon

Published: Jan. 2, 2018 at 11:05 AM CST
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The extreme cold weather has claimed the life of a woman from Lebanon.

Police identified her as Barbara McCoy, 52. Her body was discovered around 8 a.m. Tuesday behind Sutherland's. That is located off of Highway 5 near I-44.

"Knowing that yesterday was New Year's day and a lot of businesses weren't open, it's possible she was there for a while," said Kacie Springer, Lebanon's police spokesperson.

Authorities say no foul play is indicated, and those that knew her said she frequently traveled on-foot.

"She didn't have a car so she walked a lot," explained Carol Autery, a friend of McCoy's. "She'd walk all over town."

"At this point it looked like she was just taking a short cut and going home," added Springer.

Police say McCoy was last seen at 3am New Year's morning, accounting for the frozen state of the body and said McCoy was not homeless. Her address is listed at this Silverwood trailer park, but acquaintances told us she hadn't been there for some time because of its rundown, unlivable conditions.

Salvation Army director Sue Watson said McCoy had been there seeking help in the past.

"Barbara came here quite often for food and it broke my heart this morning when I heard about it," Watson said. "Because if we could have gotten to her somehow we could have helped her. I don't understand why Laclede County, as big as it is, cannot help the homeless. They have a homeless shelter for animals. They need a homeless shelter for people."

Watson is frustrated because her organization doesn't have a homeless shelter in Lebanon, and the Salvation Army served over 1,000 people last month alone from their pantry. And whether you're homeless or just out walking on-foot like McCoy was, being out in the elements can be very dangerous.