Illinois man accused of hiding cousin’s body after drug overdose

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) – The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged a 45-year-old West Frankfort, Illinois man for allegedly dumping his cousin’s body near a Hazelwood creek after the cousin died of a heroin overdose.

The body of 45-year-old Arthur Van Zandt was discovered around 9 p.m. on September 20, near Cowmire Creek in the 13000 block of Missouri Bottom Road. A police informant led authorities to Van Zandt’s body, according to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Hazelwood police determined Arthur died of a heroin overdose.

In the course of their investigation, Hazelwood police identified William Van Zandt as a suspect. William was already in police custody in Illinois on unrelated charges when investigators attempted to question him about his cousin’s death. William refused to talk to police and requested a lawyer, the Post-Dispatch said.

Prosecutors charged William, 45, with abandonment of a corpse, a felony.

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