Police identify man found dead near White Oak Lane

Tuesday, December 20, 2011 | 9:56 p.m. CST; updated 11:20 a.m. CST, Wednesday, December 21, 2011

COLUMBIA — The man who was found dead Tuesday morning near White Oak Lane has been identified as Timothy Ray Jones, 43, according to a news release from the Columbia Police Department. The death has been classified as a homicide.

Investigators decided to call the death a homicide because of the nature of Jones' injuries, such as lacerations on his upper body, the release stated. The exact cause of death will be determined once an autopsy is performed.


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Jones was found dead at 9:35 a.m. Tuesday, police said. According to a previous Missourian article, a jogger at the end of White Oak Lane called the police to tell them he had seen a man lying unresponsive near the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail.

Police ask that anyone with information about Jones or suspicious activity in the White Oak Lane area call the Columbia Police Investigations Unit at 874-7423, or 874-7652 after business hours. To make an anonymous report, call Crime Stoppers at 875-TIPS.

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Bill Fisher December 21, 2011 | 4:00 a.m.

The road he was found on is nowhere near the actual trail. Continuing to mention the trail every time you post this story, is only going to have the effect of scaring people about trail use.

For those who don't know, the road is at the top of a bluff, a few hundred yards away from the MKT, in a nearby neighborhood off Stadium. From the entrance to the neighborhood, to the entrance of the MKT parking lot on Stadium, is about a quarter mile.

(Report Comment)
Jason Entermyer December 21, 2011 | 9:47 a.m.

Good comment. Lazy journalism. It's much easier to say it was near the trail than doing your homework to define that it was off of the street near the student condos. The only "trail" is the sidewalk connector that is about 150 yards from the trail. Stadium Blvd is the same distance to the site so they could have easily said, "body found near Stadium" Maybe they don't want to scare people into thinking it was a body dump situation?

(Report Comment)
John Schneller December 21, 2011 | 11:23 a.m.

We're working to get a more specific location of where the body was found and provide that information as soon as possible.

(Report Comment)
Celia Darrough December 21, 2011 | 11:28 a.m.

Bill and Jason,

White Oak Lane leads to a small connector trail that intersects with the MKT Trail. The caller who reported the death said that he found the body near the trail, according to the Columbia police.

To be more clear, we have made the appropriate changes in our headlines and text from "near the MKT trail" to "near White Oak Lane."

Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Celia Darrough
Assistant City Editor

(Report Comment)
Bill Fisher December 21, 2011 | 7:08 p.m.

Thanks for the update.

I'm extremely familiar with the main trail, the connector, and the neighborhood up there.

My issue with all the reports I keep hearing (this includes all news outlets in CoMO) is that it's bound to scare people off the trail, just like in years past. Back in the '80s and '90s, there were a small handful of reports of rapes or muggings on thew MKT, and it took a long time for people to feel safe using the trail again. The last thing we need is to frighten people again, this time by reporting a murder on the trail.

Just like clockwork, I started my morning with co-workers coming up to me, and mentioning the story to me, since they all know how much I use the trail. Each time, it was "Hey, did you hear they found some guy murdered on the MKT trail?!" I had to explain the place where the body was found, but that only does so much good; there are many thousands more who no doubt still believe someone was murdered on the trail KOMU, of course, reenforced this again tonight on the televised news.

(Report Comment)
Steve Baumann December 22, 2011 | 11:43 a.m.

My heart and prayers go out to the deceased man, his friends and family.

Also, scaring people off the trail - what a shame that would be, having it all to ones self.....

(Report Comment)
Jason Entermyer December 22, 2011 | 5:40 p.m.

At least none of the professional media is as bad as KMIZ TV. They seem to exaggerate every story. Their news blurbs seem to be more "worst storm ever heading our way" or "trail not safe" than trying to state what happened.

Next Mike Martin will be posting outlandish stats such as "1 out of 1,000 trail users are killed."

Thank you Missourian for making the changes. That is certainly not lost on the readership.

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin December 22, 2011 | 6:25 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
dave smith December 22, 2011 | 6:54 p.m.

seems like someone needs to start drinking 50/50 instead of the real stuff...I'm just say'n

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin December 22, 2011 | 7:10 p.m.

And yet another sock puppet.

5) All lower case lettering, usually simple, mono-syllabic names, many that sound surprisingly similar.

We have about ten of those running around here too, many the same person, which probably gives this forum all of about 12 real identities.

So much for diversity of opinion.

(Report Comment)
John Schmidt December 22, 2011 | 8:42 p.m.

Hey Mike, I want to get hold of you. How would I go about that? (Not related to the present conversation.)

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin December 22, 2011 | 9:31 p.m.

You're welcome to contact me through the Columbia Heart Beat website, which is at this address until the first of the year:

and back at its old address from the first onward:

Meanwhile, Have a Merry_______! and a Happy_______! everyone. As David Rosman earlier pointed out, it's kind of a fill in the blank sorta deal these days.

(Report Comment)

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