Leg, torso in Missouri River likely from same body

Sunday, June 20, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 6:40 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

Authorities say a leg and beheaded torso found one day apart in the Missouri River are part of the same set of human remains.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said it was investigating the dismemberment as a single homicide after the Boone County medical examiner confirmed Thursday that the DNA of the two body parts matches.

The leg was found on May 29 in Callaway County. The next day, two fishermen discovered the beheaded torso about 60 miles upriver in Moniteau County near Wooldridge.

Boone County Medical Examiner Valerie Rao said the victim is thought to be a white man, between the ages of 20 and 30 and of average height.

The Highway Patrol posted close-up color photos of four tattoos from the corpse in an effort to identify the man. Patrol spokesman Sgt. Sid Conklin said leads are coming in daily from people who called authorities after seeing pictures of the tattoos in the news.

Callaway County Sheriff Dennis Crane, whose office has handed the case to the Highway Patrol, said the body could have entered the water as far upstream as Kansas City.

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