*This story has been updated at noon Friday to include the name of the 6-year-old child.
COLUMBIA — A Fulton man admitted Thursday afternoon to the shooting and killing of a 6-year-old boy in Callaway County.
Scottie A. Willet, 27, was arrested after an early morning manhunt in Callaway and Pettis counties and charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action Thursday.
Callaway County Sheriff Dennis Crane identified the 6-year-old victim as Dane William Hathman. The boy's name has also been spelled Dayne by family and friends.*
The boy's mother was at work and left the boy with a family friend who had been living in the residence on Primrose Lane since January, Callaway County Sheriff Dennis Crane said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.
The boy's grandmother, who lives next door, called to report the missing child at 2:39 a.m. Thursday, according to court documents. Callaway County Sheriff deputies found the victim's body hidden in the room where Willet was living, Crane said.
Crane said the Callaway County Sheriff's Office made a statewide alert to other law enforcement agencies after receiving the call, and Willet's vehicle, with the gun inside, was located shortly after. Sedalia police found Willet at a female associate's home in a Sedalia trailer park by tracking his cellphone, Crane said. Callaway County deputies brought Willet to the sheriff's department for holding.
During questioning, Willet admitted to Crane and Lt. Clay Chism of the Callaway County Sheriff's Office that he shot the boy multiple times with a Hi-Point .40-caliber handgun, according to court documents.
Crane did not release any other information that Willet gave during the interview, including any motives for the murder.
Authorities were waiting on an autopsy report. An open investigation was underway, though Crane said they didn't anticipate any other arrests being made.
Supervising editor is Elise Schmelzer.