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Columbia residents surprised by former neighbor's arrest

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 | 8:31 p.m. CST; updated 9:58 a.m. CST, Thursday, November 12, 2009

COLUMBIA — Residents of a northeast Columbia neighborhood gathered outside their homes Wednesday evening in shock after hearing a man who lived on the street was arrested in connection with a sex abuse case along with four family members in Bates City.

Jared Leroy Mohler, 48, who lived on Fair Lane in Columbia, was one of five men arrested Tuesday on several allegations related to sexual abuse, including use of a child in a sexual performance. The other four men are his three brothers and father.

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Jill Edwards, Mohler's neighbor of three years, said she would have never suspected anything like this because he was "such a kind neighbor." 

"He was a very religious man and held Bible studies at his home every Sunday," Edwards said.

Some neighbors knew Mohler as just the guy who would walk around the neighborhood with his pit bull, Cypree.

"He was really nice and the kids loved to jump around in the bed of his truck," said Tamika Thornton, who lives down the street. "All the kids would say 'Jared doesn't care.'"

Some of the neighbors said they were planning on meeting later this week to discuss the recent events.


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