A Sedalia man serving a life sentence for first degree murder has died.
According to a release from the Missouri Department of Corrections, Joseph F. Arbeiter, 67, was pronounced dead at 9:54 p.m. Saturday at University Medical Center in Columbia of “apparent natural causes.” Arbeiter had been serving a life sentence without parole at Crossroads Correctional Center in Cameron on charges of first degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Mandy M. Black, 35, of Marshall, in early 2014.
He was sentenced during a hearing Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, when he pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement to avoid the death penalty. During that same hearing, Arbeiter also pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an April 30, 2014, attack on a neighbor. He was charged with first degree attempted sodomy, first degree attempted rape, first degree sexual assault, second degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon, and possession of a controlled substance. He received a combined 45 years in prison to be served concurrently, and to be served consecutive to his murder sentence.
It was announced at a press conference May 13, 2015, that Arbeiter confessed to the murder of Black, whose remains were discovered on a property where he resided in the Goodwill Chapel Trailer Park, south of Sedalia city limits.
According to court documents, the suspect told detectives he killed the victim sometime around the beginning of 2014 and dismembered the body to conceal his crime. Detectives stated Arbeiter admittedly stabbed the victim multiple times in the chest and placed her in a metal box and that he added he did not know the victim’s name, only that she went by “Mandy.”
Months later, Arbeiter dismembered the body, placing parts of the victim in the metal box and in several shallow grave sites, according to court documents. At the time of the discovery, Pettis County Sheriff Kevin Bond said they believed Arbeiter acted alone in the murder.
Black had not been reported as a missing person. She was identified May 8, 2014, due to specific tattoos still visible on the body. Her last known permanent address was in Marshall, but Bond said they had received reports which indicated she had been staying in Sedalia.
The April 30 attack on his neighbor served as a catalyst that led to the discovery of the missing woman. According to court documents, trailer park maintenance workers were cleaning out the trailer to be ready for rental again due to Arbeiter being in Pettis County Jail when they discovered two human arms inside the metal box and called authorities. Once officers from the sheriff’s office arrived, a deputy found the additional human remains in several shallow graves in a wooded area near the trailer.