Autopsy: Victim died from gunshot

June 8, 2013

An autopsy performed on a body found in Grand River near Urich in Henry County shows the victim died of a gunshot wound.

According to Maj. Rob Hills with the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, a 911 call was received Wednesday from a fisherman who had found a body in the water.

“Around 6 p.m. (the fisherman) put his boat in at the ramp just south of the Urich city limits at state Route K,” Hills said. “He got about a half-mile away from the bridge that crosses the river when he noticed something floating in the water. Once he realized it was a body, he immediately called law enforcement officials.”

Hills said it took two days to identify the body because it had to be taken to the Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office. Fingerprint analysis done by the Missouri State Highway Patrol confirmed it was Justin M. Emmerton, 29, of Kingsville.

“When the body was found, we saw there was some trauma on the left side of the face near the eye area, but we didn’t know cause of death,” Hills said. “Now that the autopsy is complete and it shows he died of a gunshot wound we’re treating this as a homicide. We know he wasn’t killed where he was found, his body was likely carried downriver; we’re still determining where the crime may have originally taken place.”

Hills said the Rural Missouri Major Case Squad is handling the investigation and would continue to follow up on leads through the weekend.