Prosecutor told to expect arrest warrant for Rios

Wednesday, June 23, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:01 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Columbia Police Department detectives told Boone County Prosecutor Kevin Crane nearly a week ago that a warrant for the arrest of former officer Steven Rios would be forwarded to the prosecutor's office.

While no warrant has been issued yet, Crane cited the information in a formal request for the appointment of a special prosecuting attorney to handle any future charges against Rios, according to a motion filed Friday with Boone County Circuit Court.

Police say Rios is a "person of interest," but have not identified him or anyone else as a suspect in the case. Police Chief Randy Boehm declined to comment on the possibility that an arrest in the case is imminent.

"I can't comment on what might happen in the future," Boehm said. "I can just tell you that right now, with the information we have at this moment, we have not requested an arrest warrant for any individiual."

Crane's request for a special prosecutor noted that on June 17, he was "advised" by detectives that "a warrant request will be forwarded to our office for consideration regarding the prosecution of Steven Rios for the murder of Jesse Valencia."

Crane said arresting Rios would be "decision the police have to make."

Boone County Circuit Judge Gene Hamilton appointed Cape Girardeau County Prosecutor Morley Swingle to handle any charges against Rios, who resigned from the force June 16.

Rios has admitted to investigators that he was involved in a personal relationship with Valencia, whose body was found on June 5, a few houses down from his East Campus apartment. The MU student's throat had been cut.

-- Missourian reporter Andrew Eder contributed to this report.

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